The closures of banks are leaving towns and residents worse off, a councillor says.

HSBC is due to shut four branches in Lincolnshire next year as part of a move to online banking, and Sleaford will also lose its Barclays in March.

But elderly people could find getting online or travelling to another branch tricky, Councillor David Suiter (NK Independents) has said.

He wants the government to stop big banks from pulling out of towns where it would have a detrimental effect.

“Whilst many people are able to bank online some, often elderly residents and many others still rely on banking in person,” his motion for North Kesteven’s next full council meeting says.

“Closing the local branch will mean them having to travel substantial distances when many are unable to drive.

“Banks are an essential service in our communities, giving residents convenient access to their finances and allowing them to take care of their affairs.

“Lack of access to banking services adversely affects access to credit for small and medium-sized businesses, and hits business in various other ways.

Sleaford is also to lose its branch of Barclays | Photo: Google

“They are often situated in the heart of our town centres, in close proximity to other vital facilities and shops. Once banks go, other facilities tend to deteriorate.”

He wants the Financial Conduct Authority to have more power in stopping banks from carrying out “anti-social closures of local branches without adequate alternative provisions”.

The motion will be debated at the meeting on Thursday, December 15.

HSBC recently confirmed it will shut branches in Gainsborough, Stamford, Sleaford and Epworth next year, although the Lincoln branch will get a refurbishment.

The Sleaford branch of Barclays is due to close on Wednesday, March 2023.

HSBC says that the number of people physically going into banks has fallen by 65%, which has been hastened by the Covid pandemic.

97.5% of all its banking transactions are now made online.

Around 100 jobs are due to be lost as the bank closes 114 branches across the country.

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An emaciated elderly dog with a large tumour was found dumped in Epworth in North Lincolnshire, but she was too ill to be treated and sadly had to be put to sleep.

The female King Charles Spaniel was found on Church Walk in Epworth at around 3pm on Wednesday, April 14, by someone who reported the matter to the RSPCA.

Animal rescuer and inspector Vanessa Reid was sent to the scene where she found the dog in a collapsed state. The RSPCA has since launched an investigation.

She had a large growth on her anus and was underweight. She could not stand or hold her own weight as her backend was collapsed, and she also had very matted fur around her ears.

The dog was rushed to a nearby vet for emergency treatment, but was too ill to be treated.

Sadly, she was too ill to be treated and the vet decided the kindest thing to do was to put her to sleep. | Photo: RSPCA

The poor canine was also not microchipped and the RSPCA is appealing for information from the public to find out who owned her. Anyone with information should call the RSPCA appeals line on 0300 123 8018.

Inspector Reid said: “It was heart-breaking to see this elderly and clearly underweight dog left helpless in the street in her hour of need.

“I believe whoever owned the dog neglected her to such a level she was left dying, and instead of seeking help they callously decided to discard her like a piece of rubbish.

“She was in an appalling condition and was so weak the dog would have been unable to walk to this spot on her own and was probably dumped there.

“She was so thin with her spine protruding and her body was shutting down so the vet decided the kindest thing to do was to put her to sleep. It was so sad she had such a lovely nature but was obviously in a lot of pain.

“I am keen to find the person responsible for this and hope someone may be able to tell me who owned the dog. I would also like to hear from anyone who may have seen something suspicious in this area around the time the dog was dumped.”

May 15, 2018 4.08 pm This story is over 68 months old

A Lincolnshire salon has an unexpected visit from a slippery visitor this week, giving lunchtime staff and customers quite a fright.

RSPCA inspector Sara Jordan was called to the rescue when a sneaky grass snake popped in to the hairdresser’s on High Street, in Epworth on Saturday.

Inspector Jordan said: “The snake was fairly shy and didn’t want to come out from behind a dresser.

“The woman who owns the salon was so scared she ran out of the shop and locked it up.

“She refused to go back inside until the snake was safely secured!

He sent the owner into a hissy.

“She wouldn’t even come in with me and decided to wait outside on the other side of the road – she was really petrified so she must have had quite the fright when they first spotted the slithery customer.

“Perhaps he just wanted a short back and sides – or a cheeky shampoo and set!”

The bold grass snake was confined before RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre gave advice on where to release him.

He was driven to a nearby field to be set free.

“The snake took one look at me and decided to make a slither for it,” Sara added. “But I was able to catch him and check him over before releasing him in a field nearby – a much better home for a grass snake that in a hair salon!”

Grass snakes are harmless to humans and pets, are normally olive green or brown in colour with black bars or spots down the side, often with a yellow and black ‘collar’ which is usually visible behind the head.

Occasionally they can be very dark or completely black.

They are the largest British snake and can grow up to 100cm although more commonly measure around 70-90cm.

They are protected from being intentionally killed or injured under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

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