Gordon Lindhurst, Conservative MSP for Lothian Region, has today welcomed news that the Juniper Green Community Council in Edinburgh will host a public meeting looking at potential alternatives to the Royal Bank of Scotland branch, set to close in June.
The campaign group (set up to oppose the closure when the news was announced last year) together with concerned residents of Currie and Colinton, have called a public meeting at Juniper Green Village Hall at 8pm on Wednesday 31st May. This public meeting will give residents the chance to assess alternative options for face-to-face banking in Juniper Green and beyond, in particular the option of a community bank. Members of the campaign group together with residents from neighbouring villages have been meeting with existing community banks to gauge whether that model of banking would be right for local people affected by the closure of the existing branch, particularly elderly and disabled people. Local residents are now being invited to share their views at the forthcoming public meeting.
There will also be a special opportunity for businesses in the wider area, including nearby villages such as Balerno, Colinton and Currie, to engage in the process. This special meeting will take place on Tuesday 23rd May at 7pm at 589 Lanark Road in Edinburgh. Interested business leaders in the community are asked to confirm attendance to Mark Porteous on 0131 453 4535 as accommodation is limited.
Gordon, who has been a member of the campaign group formed following the news of the RBS closure, said:
"Community activists have been working tirelessly to find an alternative to the imminent closure of the RBS branch. The Scottish Government has highlighted the credit union model as a potential replacement service for people in communities affected by closures and so the campaign group has been looking at this with existing institutions. Now we need to know whether this is a model that would be used by local people, which would be needed for it to be a success.
I would therefore encourage all local people and businesses affected by the closure of the last remaining branch in the area to attend these meetings and hear more about the community bank model and work out whether it is for them."