image of a rural bank of scotland branch

The Fight to Safeguard Essential Banking and Postal Services in Rural Communities

As you may know, I have presented the Banking and Postal Services (Rural Areas) Bill, an essential piece of legislation designed to protect the services that our communities across Badenoch and Strathspey so vitally rely on, to the House of Commons.

Your voices have been instrumental in driving this process forward. From listening to those on community council groups to those of you I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with on your doorsteps, and to those who have shared their experiences online – I want to extend my heartfelt thanks for making your voices heard.

The concerns you have raised and the stories you have shared underscore the urgent need for us to address service cuts, particularly their impact on our older residents, which are simply unacceptable. These services are more than financial transactions or mail delivery points; they are community lifelines that connect individuals to the wider social and economic network.

The Bill is not simply just legislation; it represents our communal fight to ensure that all of our communities have access to essential banking and postal services. It proposes the implementation of a minimum number of physical branches per population, ensuring rural communities have access to these vital services.

However, our fight is far from over. This is about more than just preventing the last High Street bank in a single community from closing its doors. We must continue to advocate for a framework that works for our rural postmasters and for our communities. We must ensure that our march towards progress doesn’t sideline these vital communities. While digital infrastructure and digital literacy programmes are important, the physical presence of these services is indispensable.

Our rural communities form the bedrock of Scotland. They are responsible for preserving our environment, ensuring food security, and maintaining our cultural heritage. Yet, these communities are often sidelined, left grappling with dwindling essential services. The UK Government’s inaction in addressing these issues has left our rural communities floundering. It is imperative that we take proactive steps to tackle this issue.

The ongoing withdrawal of essential services from our rural communities is not just an issue; it is a crisis. We must ensure that our digital transition is inclusive, compassionate, and considerate of all our citizens, regardless of their location.

Your continued support is crucial in this endeavour. Your experiences, your stories, and your voices matter more than ever. Please continue to share them. You can do so by clicking here to share your thoughts and experiences.

Together, we can make our case stronger and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard. Let’s continue to work together for a better future for our rural communities.