RURAL residents look set to be urged to support proposals to introduce cash machines in areas which have been hit by bank closures.

North Yorkshire County Council’s executive is expected to approve an unusual move by a local authority to intervene over increasing gaps in banking services provision following a review by councillors.

The authority looks set to ask all 72 of its councillors to identify sites where an additional ATM might be of benefit to residents ahead of applications being submitted to the UK’s largest cash machine network Link.

The executive will also consider dispatching its stronger communities team to help coordinate cash machine proposals by encouraging communities to support applications and provide evidence of need.

The move follows councillors finding decisions over bank closures were not taking account of the full impact upon rural communities and smaller businesses and that assumptions were being made about the ability of post offices to fill the resulting gap in banking services.

The review, by the authority’s Corporate and Partnerships Overview and Scrutiny Committee, concluded that it was “unable to say with confidence that banks were fully considering their corporate social responsibility as part of their decision making around the closure of a branch bank”.

It also highlighted their concern for the number of people that may get left behind without access to banking services, as a move towards a cash-less society and dependence upon online technologies continued.