AN effort by Lymm Parish Council to ‘protect’ the last remaining bank in the village has thrown a curious phenomenon into sharp relief.

Villagers want to register the current Lloyds building at The Cross as an ‘asset of community value’, amid campaigning to keep the branch open.

Elsewhere Camra is reported to be considering a similar approach to acknowledge the significance of The Millhouse in Cinnamon Brow.

In the Lymm case, the banking giant in question is merely a tenant of said building, rendering the community value process fairly pointless.

Such a designation is going to have little persuasive powers for Lloyds, which wants to apparently shut up shop by early July.

I’ve a sneaking sympathy with the Chisnall Family Trust, which owns the building, and has been caught in the middle of this thorny debate.

Why should this fine family be lumbered with a building deemed eminently suitable for banking, when one of the High Street names has rejected trading there?

Punters would seem to be far better off lobbying Lloyds brains trust for any hope of salvation – though one quick perusal of their opening hours would demonstrate how utterly forlorn that task might be.

Trust one of our major financial institutions to offer unimpeachable logic regarding the branch’s drop-off in face-to-face interactions.

Not getting going until 9.30am (10am on Wednesdays), knocking off at 3.30pm, and no Saturday or Sunday openings? Little wonder that falling customer numbers have been noticed, with that kind of rock-solid commitment to customer service.

Following hard on the heels of the loss of Barclays Bank, and the (hopefully temporary) loss of the main post office in Lymm, it’s a bitter pill to swallow. But if there’s any righteous indignation here, it should be directed at the bank’s management.

The likes of HSBC, NatWest, Barclays and Lloyds have all indulged in a hefty dose of branch ‘rationalisation’ in recent years.

With each of the big four prepared to dodge their commitment to whole boroughs, never mind villages, sadly I don’t hold out great hopes for Lymm in the long run.

Perhaps the least said about the second application in Cinnamon Brow, the better. If there any wider socio-economic reasons why The Millhouse is worthy of safeguarding, please explain them to me. I know it’s not the architecture which has earned deep levels of loyalty surely?

One line I had to smile about though – of six current assets of community value four are pubs – the Sportsmans Arms in Penketh, the Star Inn at Lymm, the Ring O’Bells at Stretton and the Chapel House Inn in Burtonwood. Fair play, people of Warrington.