Iain Gray MSP and local Labour Party members were out in force last Saturday morning with their petition against the decision by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to close its Prestonpans High Street branch, the town's only remaining bank.
The petition, which condemns the decision and urges RBS to rethink the planned closure was signed by over 200 people on Saturday morning with many local people expressing their disgust with the contempt RBS have shown to customers who have been loyal to the bank for many years.
Local Prestonpans Labour Councillor and Leader of East Lothian Council Willie Innes said:
“In all the years I've represented Prestonpans on East Lothian Council I've never known such anger. Several people I spoke to on Saturday told me that they will change their bank if RBS go ahead with this proposal. East Lothian Health & Social Care partnership have also agreed to write to RBS asking them to explain their actions considering the adverse effect this decision will have on the elderly and disabled.”
Iain Gray MSP said:
“I was pleased to join Willie and colleagues from Prestonpans outside the RBS branch to tell local people about our campaign. The people we spoke to were overwhelmingly against the bank’s decision to try and close this branch and we certainly had no problem collecting signatures for our petition. I’ll continue to oppose this decision and urge RBS to reconsider its damaging closure plans.”
Chairperson of Prestonpans Community Council Jimmy Yule was one of the first to sign the petition on Saturday and commented:
“Given the new housing developments that have mushroomed in Prestonpans and surrounding communities in recent years I can't understand why RBS should want to close the last remaining bank in our town. The timing of this decision by RBS couldn't be worse given they are currently running a TV advertising campaign telling potential customers to enquire at their local branch yet they want to close our local branch. RBS need to think again.”
The petition has now been backed by more than 600 people in the week since it was launched. The local Labour branch plans to continue collecting signatures until the end of June, when Cllr Innes and Mr Gray will present the petition to RBS.
Hard copies of the petition are available from Prestonpans Labour Club or email email@example.com to be sent copies.
There is also an online version of the petition at www.change.org/p/rbs-petition-against-the-closure-of-prestonpans-rbs-branch