When all the High Street Banks deserted Glastonbury, our amazing community got organised and campaigned against the closures; calling for one branch to remain – a ‘Last Bank Standing’.
That call, and all the hard work that went into the flash mobs, petitions, publicity, and protests has been answered.
The Nationwide Building Society moved one step closer to opening their branch this week when Phil Goodridge-Reynolds, the new Nationwide branch manager, helped Glastonbury Mayor Jon Cousins and Deputy Mayor Emma George open the first current accounts in the run up to the branch opening.
Green Mayor, Jon Cousins said, “As Mayor of Glastonbury, I am absolutely delighted to join Deputy Mayor Emma George in opening the founding current accounts with Nationwide’s new Glastonbury branch.”
The Nationwide recently posted: “When the people of Glastonbury asked for a bank, it was a building society that answered and we’re looking forward to opening our new branch in the summer.”
“Our new Glastonbury Nationwide will be located at 3 High Street, and work has now begun on designing your branch, which is expected to open by this summer.”
Leading the new Grade II listed Glastonbury branch is Phil Goodridge-Reynolds, branch manager and his newly recruited Customer Representatives; Rachael Butt, Adam Leitch and Sonia Love, who are now ready to accept new customers.
If you’d like to open a current account, you can do so online HERE
You can also book an appointment in Glastonbury Town Hall.
Just call 0800 554 1590 (Monday – Friday 9.30 am – 5 pm, or Saturday 9 am – 3 pm).
Nationwide are also offering Glastonbury residents the chance to share £200 when they recommend one of Nationwide’s current accounts to a friend! For more information click HERE
Glastonbury's Green Mayor, Cllr. Jon Cousins announces: “The Nationwide Building Society is opening a new branch in Glastonbury!”
Following our community’s high profile Last Bank Standing Campaign earlier this year, the Nationwide Building Society has spent the last three months exploring the viability of opening a new branch in the town – consulting with various stakeholders, holding an on-line poll, and taking part in the Neighbourhood Plan consultation event on 14th and 15th October in the Town Hall.
On 18th November, the Nationwide issued the following statement:
“Thank you to the whole Glastonbury community and those who have joined in showing their support for us coming to the town. We’re delighted to announce that Nationwide Building Society will be opening a branch in the heart of Glastonbury next summer with the location to be agreed early next year.
“We’ll work closely with the local community to make sure your branch understands the services and facilities that you need. Above all, we want to provide a branch that works for the community and that will lead to local people actively using the service and opening accounts.
“There will be lots of opportunity for the town to influence and help shape the branch over the coming months and you’ll be instrumental in its future and success.”
To find out more – visit the Nationwide’s website HERE.
Natalie Bennett’s visit to Glastonbury on 26th January, saw the Green Party leader meeting with members of the Last Bank Standing Campaign; listening to residents on Chilkwell Street and Cottle Close – to learn more about ‘Lighten the Load A361’; she also found time to meet some of Glastonbury’s Green Town Councillors, and to visit West Mendip Green Party members and supporters with Paul Lund – the Green Party Candidate in the Glastonbury St. Mary’s By-election (on 11th February).
At Glastonbury Town Hall, Natalie was delighted to meet with Glastonbury’s Green Mayor, Cllr Denise Michell, and Green Deputy Mayor, Cllr Jon Cousins in the historic Council Chamber.
With the Greens holding minority-control of the Council, Natalie was very interested in the potential of Paul Lund’s election as an eighth Green Councillor (which would give the Greens a working majority), and she talked with Paul about the work he currently does as Deputy Chair of the Council’s Promoting Glastonbury Committee (Paul is the first non-councillor to hold such a position in the Council).
Natalie was also keen to hear about Paul’s pioneering work as the author of the town’s ‘Charter for the Environment’, which was adopted in 2012.
In the afternoon Natalie and Paul visited Green Party members and supporters on the Redlands Estate, listening to their concerns and thoughts about the future of Glastonbury – the A361 petition, the Green’s success at banning the use of the toxic herbicide glyphosate; protecting the town’s green spaces, the renewing of Glastonbury’s Fairtrade Town status, the new Green-led Neighbourhood Plan, and – of course – the loss of the banks.
Reflecting on her visit, Natalie said that the threatened closure of the town’s last two banks gave “One more example of our financial sector failing to meet the needs of communities; threatening businesses through lack of access to cash and lost custom.”
To support the Last Bank Standing Campaign, please click HERE.
When Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett visited Glastonbury on 26th January, not only did she meet with the Last Bank Standing Campaign, but she also wanted to learn more about ‘Lighten the Load A361’; to hear from residents about the impact of heavy traffic on their lives, and to witness the situation first-hand.
As a result of Green Councillors’ involvement with Lighten the Load – and the creation of the Town Council’s A361 Committee – Natalie was familiar with the petition to remove Glastonbury from the Freight Network; to stop HGVs from travelling through the town.
From reading reports by Glastonbury's Green Cllr Lindsay MacDougall, Natalie already understood something of the problems facing local residents who live along the A361. However, she welcomed the opportunity to experience the situation in person – and was visibly shocked at the close proximity of the traffic to pedestrians, the lack of safe crossing places, and the narrow width of the road as it squeezes through Chilkwell Street by Chalice Well.
Natalie listened in amazement to hear that Somerset County Council will not fund traffic surveys, decibel, pollution, and vibration testing for Glastonbury! She was also surprised to hear that the County's Highway department have repeatedly failed to meet with Glastonbury Town Council to discuss the issues!
She was deeply concerned to meet a family with young children whose front door opened directly onto the road’s edge – the danger being obvious.
Paul Lund, Glastonbury’s Green Candidate for the forthcoming St. Mary’s By-election, told Natalie that the A361 campaign was a priority issue for the ward. “Young families who live on the A361 – like those we’ve met at Cottle Close – deserve better from the County Council, who appear to consider the needs of HGVs above those of local people! The Glastonbury Greens fully support Lighten the Load; and we’ll try every opportunity open to us to make this road safe for those who live on it!”
Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett visited Glastonbury on 26th January to meet with the Last Bank Standing Campaign.
Natalie’s visit certainly caused a stir, with a collection of photographers, press, and microphones following her in a walk around town, to meet with shop keepers, traders, and businesses; to hear directly how they will be affected by the threatened closure of Glastonbury’s two remaining banks.
A Green Man welcomed the Green leader, as Natalie was formally met at Glastonbury Town Hall by the Worshipful Denise Michell, Green Mayor of Glastonbury, her Deputy Cllr Jon Cousins, and key members of the Last Bank Standing Campaign.
During the visit, Natalie discussed how being denied access to a bank had social and economic impacts on a community. She was delighted that Glastonbury’s Green Councillors had taken an active role in the campaign and creative action, saying, “Listening to the High Street’s businesses and traders; talking with people about the situation, Glastonbury clearly needs a bank.”
Message from Glastonbury Green Councillor Gabriel Avalon:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who was involved in making today’s flash mob in Glastonbury such a success. Even the rain didn’t stop a massive crowd from turning out to show the banks that Glastonbury will not go down quietly.
There are so many people to thank that to do so individually would take all day but I would like to pay special mention to Charles Hazlewood for conducting on the day and for being an all round good egg and getting right behind us.
Also mention goes to Kevin Redpath who even as I write this is working away to create the YouTube video of the weekend and who also rewrote the words that we sung today.
Dave and John and the staff of Heaphys Café who have put up with us taking up his tables while we have had the many meetings needed to organise today. Dave also very kindly supplied the coffee for the videographers and press and TV people at the town hall.
Paul Manning from the Blue Cedar Print room and Jan and Shirley from Fragrant Earth have also given invaluable input and help to make today happen.
And let’s not forget the towns taxi drivers who made such a wonderful end to the day.
And finally thank you the people of this wonderful quirky, unique, town for showing you care and for literally singing in the rain. Thank you all for coming.
This is just the start. We are already working on new and exciting ways to show the banks that we will not be left without banking provision and that the economy of our town will not be broken just because an accountant miles away decides to shave a bit of the running costs of the branches.
Please share this message so that as many as possible can see it
Cllr Gabriel Avalon
St. Benedict’s Ward Councillor
Glastonbury Town Council
Glastonbury’s Green minority-controlled Council is increasing efforts to stop Glastonbury being left without a bank.
At the end of 2015, following the closure of NatWest and HSBC, it was revealed that both Lloyds and Barclays would close their doors by April, leaving Glastonbury with no banks or ATMs in the centre.
But the community and local businesses have joined with Glastonbury’s councillors in a bid to stop at least one of the banks from closing, and on Saturday 9th January hundreds of people are expected to take part in a flash mob.
Green Councillor Gabriel Avalon, said: “It is going to be a major, major event. A flash mob will take place at midday at the market square and we want everybody to turn up, as many people as possible. About 30 seconds before midday we will be calling in the taxis who will block the High Street to stop the traffic, then we will migrate on the street. Flash mobs are known to be very successful – we are hoping to go viral.”
Conductor Charles Hazlewood is expected to be at the event and Cllr Avalon said other celebrities could be joining the crowd, including Glastonbury Festival’s Michael Eavis and Dragons’ Den investor Deborah Meaden!
Following the news of the closures, Glastonbury Council contacted Lloyds and Barclays in the hope one would reconsider, but it has only had a response from Barclays.
Cllr Avalon said: “Representatives from Barclays have attended a meeting at the town hall – we discussed various options. We suggested they would consider a six-month deal for people to show they will support the bank and then they might think it might be worthwhile to stay. They appeared open to looking at this. In their opinion, they are closing – but they are approaching these talks with an open mind. We will be meeting with them again. No other bank has made any contact.”
Cllr Avalon also said that in response to the campaign the Co-op shop was planning to get an ATM cash point installed, but he added that the town centre needs more than one.
The flash mob will be held at midday on Saturday 9th January at the market cross and Cllr Avalon is urging everyone to get involved.
To sign the petition to save one of the banks, visit: www.change.org/p/rt-hon-sajid-javid-mp-last-bank-standing-don-t-let-communities-lose-their-only-bank.