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Monday, March 4, 2024

Local MP Presents Bill to Protect Rural Banking and Postal Services

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Drew Hendry MP will present a 10-minute rule bill on banking and postal services in rural communities.

Drew Hendry’s bill will set out minimum service standards for the provision of banking and postal services in rural areas, including through physical outlets and for connected purposes.

Rural postal and banking services have been in decline across the UK and the MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey will tell the House of Commons how this damages rural communities, particularly older people.

Commenting, Drew Hendry MP said:

“This Bill gets to the heart of what being a Member of Parliament is all about – making your constituents’ voices heard.

“Concerns over the reduction of these services are hardly new, and it is something I have long campaigned on, but the calls are becoming more and more desperate as the number of banks and Post Offices in our rural communities plummet towards zero.

“When I knock on doors or speak to locals in our streets or parks, this is an issue which comes up time and time again.

“Six weeks ago, I wrote to UK and Scottish Government ministers to see what could be done.

“I have a meeting coming up with the Scottish Government Minister, but disappointingly, if unsurprisingly, I have yet to hear back from UK Business Secretary, Kemi Badenoch. 

“Many folk are able to adapt to the way the world is moving – towards a digital and online age – but equally important are the folk that aren’t.

“These physical interactions in the likes of banks foster a sense of community and reassurance that digital services simply cannot replicate. 

“The UK Government should not be leaving those who wish to use physical outlets behind, and they must support this Bill as it moves forward through the House.

“If that doesn’t happen, it’ll be yet another example of Westminster not working for our towns and villages across Scotland.”

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