FEARS have been raised about footfall in a village following an attempted theft from a cash machine.

North Wales Police (NWP) were called to reports of an attempt to steal money at an ATM in Caergwrle Filling Station, Mold Road, around 3.30am on Wednesday.

Officers have said that substantial damage has been caused to the cash machine, and that an investigation is underway.

The cash machine has been boarded up, rendering it unusable for customers.

Concerns have been raised by Hope and Caergwrle councillors about residents of both villages being able to take out and use their cash.

Cllr Gladys Healey, county councillor for Hope and wife of Caergwrle Councillor Dave Healey, said she fears residents will no longer be able to access cash following this incident, which is the second theft attempt at the filling station in recent months.

Cllr Mrs Healey said: "When HSBC went from Caergwrle, there was a meeting and I did tell them if they did put an ATM at the Filling Station, there will be a robbery. The proof is in the pudding.

"I am very worried that if this ATM goes, how will people get money when they need it. Sometimes people work all day and forget to take money out, and for them to come from Hope to Caergwrle to get cash out is not on. I just do not know what they can do to secure it any more."

She added that cash is crucial for the sustaining of small villages, such as Hope and Caergwrle, for residents to spend their money as and when to maintain footfall.

Cllr Dave Healey agrees with the Hope councillor, and added: "We are both concerned with the loss of HSBC and this ATM. We raised concerns of safety for the arrangement of the Caergwrle ATM and we have been proved correct. There seems to be a rift in the community.

"In Caergwrle, there is only one other free ATM in the Spar. The predicament is if the Spar is shut, people can't access a cash machine. There is also a problem for the elderly who live at the side of the Caergwrle garage who can no longer access cash when it is convenient. The Post Office in Caergwrle also has a cash machine but that charges, which is really not ideal.

"The incident on Wednesday is quite shocking, and this is the second time this particular cash machine has been targeted. It raises questions whether or not the garage will continue to provide the ATM."

Barry James, manager at Caergwrle Filling Station said he has not been made aware of any inclination to maintain or close the ATM at the garage.