Oct 17

A Community Savings Bank for Glastonbury!

Do we want to create a new type of community-owned, mutual bank in the South West?  This was the question posed at a meeting held on 12th October in Glastonbury Town Hall – organised by the Last Bank Standing team with the Royal Society of Arts and the Community Savings Bank Association...

Do you want to own a Community Bank?

Imagine if there was a bank dedicated to the South West that put the welfare of its local communities before profits.  A bank that helped local economies to grow by supporting all residents to upskill, regardless of their financial means.  A bank that empowered people to grow their ideas into thriving local businesses.  A bank that people trusted.  What might the South West look like in twenty or thirty years time?

During the evening, the RSA’s Director of Economics, Tony Greenham, discussed the economic and social case for regional banks, and explored the opportunities and challenges of creating a truly co-operative bank dedicated to the South West.

The need for regional banking was highlighted in the RSA’s Inclusive Growth Commission, which highlighted that the lack of access to appropriate banking and financial tools can have a serious impact on people on low incomes or with a poor financial history, as well as on SMEs and micro businesses.

Incredibly, there are over 1.7 million adults in the UK that don’t have a bank account, while at the same time the pace of branch closures has accelerated rapidly, leaving 1,500 communities without a bank - as we are well aware here in Glastonbury!

Whilst already severe, these challenges are likely to become even more acute in the context of Brexit and upcoming reforms to local government financing.  There has never been a more urgent need to rebalance the UK economy.

The RSA are supporting the Community Savings Bank Association to create a UK-wide network of customer-owned, regional banks to serve the everyday financial needs of ordinary people, local community groups, and small and medium sized companies.

The Green Mayor of Glastonbury, Cllr Emma George, with the organisers of the South West Community Bank event. L-R: Paul Manning (Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce), Tony Greenham (RSA Director of Economics), the Mayor, Mark Hall (RSA Deputy Head of Engagement), and Kevin Redpath (Last Bank Standing).

The Glastonbury event explored the motivations and barriers in Glastonbury – and other local areas – to establishing this kind of bank, and the role that different stakeholders could play in catalysing the establishment of a South West bank.

To find out more, please visit the CSBA website HERE


Jan 16

Last Bank Standing - Glastonbury Flashmob film

Published on 12th January 2016, the official film of the ‘Last Bank Standing’ Glastonbury Flashmob is now available on YouTube.

Made by local film-maker Kevin Redpath, it was uploaded onto the video-sharing website after receiving its first public screening at January’s meeting of Glastonbury Town Council.

Green Councillor Gabriel Avalon said  “Following the Flashmob, the profile of our campaign has grown massively overnight and Kevin’s film has only just been released!  I have worked closely with Kevin over Christmas ensuring everything fell into place on the day.  It is fair to say no Kevin, no flash mob, no press...   The town is indebted to Kevin for his support and selfless giving.

Kevin's description on YouTube states: “Glastonbury, Somerset is campaigning against the closures of the last two remaining banks in our town.  Here is our spirited version of Jerusalem!  A huge thank you to everyone in Glastonbury who contributed to our Last Bank Standing campaign film – our residents, visitors and all our wonderful businesses.”

Sign the petition at: tinyurl.com/lastbankstanding

The Creative Team:

Beautiful opening vocals from Silver on the Tree:
Dreow Bennett
Oshia Drury
Viv Andreae

Location Sound Recording by the perfectionist:
Paul Lund

Location Photography in all weathers:
Dan Gale
Graham Trott
John Mason
Kevin Redpath
Paul Collins

Location Catering and great coffee:
Dave Kendrick and the Heapheys team

Editor, Sound Mixer, Picture Grader:
Dan Gale, Right Smart Video

Crowd Director and man with Loud Hailer and Louder Shoes:
Councillor Gabriel Avalon

Props Manager and Brue Boy:
Councillor Ian Tucker

The tireless Charles Hazlewood

Vocals and banner holders:
Too many people to thank but every single voice was really appreciated

Friendly local Methodist and very enthusiastic supporter:
Michael Eavis

A film by Kevin Redpath for our town’s Last Bank Standing Campaign

Made with love in Glastonbury, England
January 2016