John has reacted strongly to announcements from Yorkshire Bank and HSBC that they intend to close their Wath-upon-Dearne branches.

This will leave Wath without a bank.

He said: “I am angry. The decision of both banks to pull out of Wath is a disgrace. Banks are supposed to be ‘service’ companies but by pulling out of Wath they are badly letting their customers down.

“The banking system had strong support from taxpayers after they caused the global financial crisis and recession in 2008, now they should be standing by their communities.

“Wath is known as the queen of villages but this could rip out the heart of the town.

“I have been in contact directly with the chief executives of both banks to let them know how concerned I am by their decision, and I will do everything I can to get them to change their minds.

“If people want to let the banks know they’re against this decision, I’ve launched a petition that they can sign in my office in Wath.”

The office address is 79 High Street, Wath-upon-Dearne, and is open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.