Prestonpans and District Branch Labour Party, led by local councillor Willie Innes, has launched a petition again 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 and consult with local people, was launched at the Prestonpans Labour Club AGM on Sunday. Local MSP Iain Gray, who has tabled a motion at Holyrood against the closure plans, is also backing the petition.
Launching the petition, Councillor Willie Innes said:
“Within hours of the announcement being made public, I had received dozens of messages from local residents concerned at the impact closing this branch will have on the town. It will be detrimental to local RBS customers but also leaves Prestonpans without a single bank, something which until recently was not allowed to happen.
“Given the negative impact the decision will have, I’m pleased to be leading this petition to urge RBS to halt the closure and consult with local businesses, residents and community representatives with a view to rethinking it. I believe this is the least RBS can do after the loyalty so many local people have shown to it over the years.”
Iain Gray MSP said:
“This branch closure is one of several in communities across Scotland. When the banking industry abandoned its ‘last bank in town’ pledge last year it meant that smaller branches would inevitably come under threat. It is bad news for RBS customers in Prestonpans, particularly businesses and those who are not using digital banking, but also for the whole town.
“I have tabled a motion in Parliament urging RBS to reconsider this decision and put the needs of its customers first. I’m also fully behind this petition and hope that anyone who wants the branch to remain open will support it.”
One of the first people to sign the petition was outgoing Prestonpans Labour Club President Harry Cairney. He added:
“The Labour Club is one of many local businesses, who along with countless local families, will suffer as a result of this decision and I will do all I can to get RBS to see the error of their ways.”
Hard copies of the petition are available from Prestonpans Labour Club or email firstname.lastname@example.org 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