From: Cllr Kevin Dixon, Netherfield Hill, Battle
As a past mayor of Battle and Chamber of Commerce president I understand as well as anyone the importance of having access to an ATM in Battle High Street. Indeed, businesses that I was involved with then and now are extremely heavily dependent on cash.
Both Cllr Kathryn Field and I are actively involved in pursuing a number of possible options for reinstating an ATM on or near the High Street, accessible 24/7. If someone else is able to achieve this then that will undoubtedly be good for Battle and should be applauded.
It is, however, very disappointing to read that our MP appears to have been allowing his party political allegiances to override his wider responsibilities.
It is a fundamental tenet of our democracy that any elected official, once elected, should represent the whole of their electorate without allowing party political differences to affect their actions. I wrote in good faith to our MP in January, asking him to use his influence and connections to intercede with RBS/NatWest over continuing access to an ATM. He is, after all, a representative of their largest shareholder!
I received a belated acknowledgment from his PA assuring me that he had received an initial response from RBS/NatWest but would be taking this up further with them and would let me know the outcome. I have heard nothing since. It is therefore very disappointing to read that he is now seeking to use this issue for party political advantage: I had thought better of him.
The most likely way of achieving success with this issue is for all four levels of Government including the Town Council and the Chamber of Commerce, to work together rather than use ATMs as a political football.
I am sure that is what the electorate of Battle would expect.