On the 5th April this year, Lloyds Bank – the last bank standing in Glastonbury, will finally close its doors. Last Bank Standing is a campaign group of local residents and Town Councillors committed to retaining banking provision in our community in the future and we are using flash mobs, films, banners, petitions, surveys, media and political engagement to raise the profile of our campaign.
In 2005, the New Economics Foundation report ‘Ghost Town Britain’ stated:
Local economies suffer enormously from bank closures. The Bristol University study found that 94 per cent of people combined visiting their bank branch with shopping and some 70 per cent of small businesses visited a bank branch at least once a week, and 8 per cent do so every day. When the last bank in town closes, local traders and charities all suffer a knock-on effect. Local traders report losses of between 10 and 30 per cent when the last local bank closes.
So far, we have created:
1/ An online and print based petition that has attracted 5,600+ signatures in two months (more than 50% of the population of Glastonbury). Our case will now be debated at Somerset County Council’s next full Chamber meeting in May 2016.
2/ We have scripted, filmed and produced two short flash mob films ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Crazy Horse’ which are available on YouTube and attracting wide attention.
3/ We have invited our MP, James Heappey to a public meeting in Glastonbury Town Hall from which he was able to raise the issue of Glastonbury Bank closures in Prime Minister’s Questions.
4/ We have conducted our own street survey of local bank customers which shows an overwhelming need for a banking facility in the town
5/ We have designed and printed banners, petitions and posters to raise the profile of our campaign.
6/ Members of the campaign group have been interviewed for ITV Westcountry, BBC Bristol, Breeze FM, Local and national press and we have worked with local photographers and journalists to ensure our campaign is kept in the public eye.
Our future plans include more national press and TV coverage, flash mobs and public screenings of our films. However, all of us on the campaign team are self-employed and we welcome the support of the wider community to help us to cover our campaign costs over the next few months:
1/ Paying for the hire of a 13,000 lumen projector and sound system to project our films outdoors
2/ Paying for more display banners and print media
3/ Raising funds to cover the production costs of our second flash mob film ‘Crazy Horse’
Our goal is to raise £3,000 and every £1 helps