On Tuesday 21 st February, Ranil Jayawardena, Member of Parliament for North East Hampshire presented a petition in the House of Commons, urging HM Government to take all possible steps to compel Lloyds Bank to reconsider this decision and to make sure that the banking industry considers the social implications of their actions.
Speaking in the House of Commons Ranil said, “Banks are more than a utility; they provide a service to communities up and down the land. Today banks are changing definitions and moving the goalposts so that they can close more branches, including in my constituency. This is being done by all banks, at a time when they are seeking to rebuild trust. The people of Odiham want to make it clear to this House – they have done so well into their four figures – that they want their local bank to remain.”
Petitions are placed in a bag behind the Speaker’s chair but the number of petitions was so great that the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons quipped, “We’d better get a new bag for you, there’s that many”!
Ranil commented, “Our petition will now be sent to the relevant Government department. I will also be informing Lloyds of the strength of feeling across the Odiham community and hope that they will reconsider their decision.”