A SHORTAGE of cash machines in rural parts of South Derbyshire is leaving families struggling, a council has said.
County chiefs have drawn up an action plan in an attempt to tackle the problem after a lack of access to cash for people living in rural communities was flagged up.
Villages in the district are either not supplied with enough ATMs or machines that are available are not regularly stocked up, Derbyshire County Council said.
The situation is said to be having a damaging effect on families living on the breadline who rely on making cash payments.
Councillors have suggested encouraging village stores, post offices and pubs to consider installing free-to-use cash machines which as well as being beneficial to customers, could also provide a boost to businesses.
A Derbyshire County Council report said businesses would automatically receive extra footfall with people regularly entering the store to make withdrawals, while they are also likely to see sales rise with around 10 per cent of cash taken from an ATM then spent inside the store.
The report said: “These barriers primarily affect rural communities and low-income consumers who are struggling to manage very tight budgets.
“Particularly affected are those who are not in employment and people living on marginalised, out-of-town social housing estates.
“Low-paid workers and benefit recipients typically chose to manage budgets entirely or primarily in cash. This was, by far, the preferred approach to money management, with cash money management being critical to balancing the weekly budget.
“The installation of free ATMs also supports the local economy. A free ATM located in a convenience store for example takes up minimal space but supports the local business.”
The district’s citizens advice bureau has thrown its weight behind the initiative saying more cash machines would greatly support financial inclusion for residents of rural areas’,
The county council will now to work on identifying areas which should be provided with new cash machines.