Santander Closures and Local Communities — [Philip Davies in the Chair]

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 3:41 pm on 14th February 2019.

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Photo of Hugh Gaffney Hugh Gaffney Labour, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill 3:41 pm, 14th February 2019

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Rosindell. I thank my constituency neighbour, David Linden, for securing this debate.

In my constituency of Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, we have seen the loss of local branches in recent years. Recently, Stepps, Tannochside and Bellshill have all seen their local Royal Bank of Scotland close down, despite the fact that the Government own the majority stake in RBS and could have kept some of those branches open and protected those jobs. We have also seen the collapse of Scotland’s oldest savings bank, the Airdrie Savings Bank, which led to the loss of branches in Coatbridge and Bellshill.

The loss of those branches in my constituency are just a snapshot of what I have heard today and what is happening throughout the whole country. I repeat that the rot started with the Crown post office closures. Now Santander says, “Let’s turn to the Post Office. It can help us.” Too little, too late.