Constituency news

It was great to be able to support the Bridgend Lions Charity Book Fair last weekend. Every year I look forward to the event and it is a great opportunity to stock up and replenish my reading material. This year’s event was no exception. I bought a number of dictionaries and a few other non-fiction books. There was a huge range of books from military history and crime thrillers to transport and travel. There was something for everyone.

Following the decision by NatWest to close its Porthcawl branch in John Street, I met with representatives from the bank to discuss this decision and to raise constituents concerns about the impact this would have. In particular, it was an opportunity to ask about what level of service would be available to older people who are not online and what provision would be available to those cash reliant businesses.

As well as accessing other branches at Bridgend, Port Talbot and Neath, NatWest has a contract with the Post Office. NatWest customers can get a balance, make withdrawals using their debit cards and pay in cash and cheques with a pre-printed paying-in slip at any Post Office. There will also be a mobile van which will be in town one day a week for about an hour and a half. For those cash reliant businesses, the cash will be collected from businesses using a security carrier company.

NatWest also explained that they have introduced a new role in response to the changing ways customers bank. They have appointed a community banker for Porthcawl. Community Bankers will work in local communities recently affected by branch closures. As part of their role, they will provide customers with personal assistance in accessing the right banking options for their needs across a range of channels.