Street decline could make Shirley ‘Las Vegas of nursing homes’

Shirley High Street threatens to become the ‘Las Vegas of healthcare facilities’ after dwindling shoppers sparked a wave of closures. Shirley East councilor Mark Parker says the impending closure of Barclays Bank is the latest in a series of closures that will hurt the area’s sustainability.

Cllr Parker’s comments come after HSBC said its Shirley affiliate would close in September this year after a 50 percent drop in visitor numbers since 2017. The bank added that less than 50 percent of its customers use the branch network, opting instead for the online service.

READ MORE: Barclays to close Shirley branch as city hit by bank closures

However, Cllr Parker is concerned about the area’s elderly residents who rely on face-to-face banking. He said: “The closure of Barclays in September is bad news for the high street and will exclude older residents.

“I am concerned about the reduction in services. We need to look at how we can reverse the decline of our city centers and promote sustainability in Shirley.”

Both Barclays and HSBC will close their Shirley facilities in September 2022.

Barclays told Birmingham Live that 87 percent of customers on the Shirley branches use different ways to conduct their banking business. It said: “The decision to close a branch is never an easy one. However, customers are increasingly turning to branch alternatives to conduct their banking business. As a result, we are seeing a continued decline in the number of branches in the UK.”

In addition to the bank closures, Cllr Parker said the plan to replace the old Morrisons with another care home in Shirley raised even more questions for the area. Solihull Council unanimously ditched the plans in April, but developers could still appeal.

Cllr Parker added that the residents of Shirley are ‘kick’ of applications to build more care homes and instead desire a more balanced approach and homes for young people.

“Nursing homes do not strengthen the community and have a knock-on effect in the area. They are not good for the high street because they often have their own services, such as hairdressers in the care home. We need a new way of thinking and a new approach to promote sustainability.”

Barclays said no staff will be laid off when the branch closes on Wednesday, September 7, 2022. It is unclear at this stage what it will be replaced by.

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