The community response to the closures of our banks and Minor Injuries Unit has been swift and impressive. The Community First Responders lead by Rosie Bullard have rallied the troops and are well on the way to opening a Community First Aid Centre in Tesco’s car park. STOP PRESS: St Nicholas Church has pledged £4,200 to buy the portacabin to house the Centre. Meanwhile the Town Council is holding talks with the Hull and East Riding Credit Union about opening a facility in Hornsea. First Aid Centre The First Aid Centre is coming along well. We have a Steering Group, a Constitution, a Bank Account and wonderful offers of volunteers. Premises were a big problem and nowhere seemed suitable. Tesco have offered the use of a space in their car park and, of course, their facilities. We now need something to put on it. Does anyone have a Porta-cabin or some such facility that we could use put on the space and use as a First Aid Centre? Funding, again Tesco have come to our rescue and we have booked Saturday 31st March – Easter Sunday for a Bag Pack 10 am – 4 pm. If you can help and do a shift please contact me on 07703166422. We have a wonderful group of volunteers but we need more help. We are seeking First Aiders (updating and training can be given), people to staff the waiting area and talk to casualties and start to fill in accident forms. Can anyone design a poster for us to publicise the First Aid Centre, fund uniforms, equipment, anything at all that you think might be of use, we will welcome such help. Any questions, offers of help etc, please contact either the Mayor Cllr Anne Padget (0796794733) or myself Rosie Bullard (07703166422). Thank you. Response to Bank Closures The Town Council invited John Smith from the Hull and East Yorkshire Credit Union to give a presentation before the 26th February Parks and Cemeteries meeting, regarding the possibility of bringing a Credit Union facility to Hornsea. It was hoped that this may, to some extent, be able to compensate for the imminent closure of our two remaining High Street banks this summer. Mr Smith began by explaining that Credit Unions are owned solely by their members, with no other shareholders, operate on a ‘not for profit’ basis and exist to engage cooperatively with the local community and to provide a fair and responsible range of financial products. Anyone can join as a member and those who save receive an annual dividend in December. Members can opt for Instant Access, Christmas or Junior Savings accounts and apply for loans of up to £20,000. Small loans are offered at considerably lower interest rates than doorstep lenders and larger loans are competitive with those of the banks. A Visa debit card is also an option, although there is a charge for this. Hull and East Yorkshire Credit Union began life as a Savings Bank for Hull City Council staff in 1999 and has now grown to 12,500 members and 1,450 junior savers across the East Riding and Northern Lincolnshire with total assets of £11 million. It has eight branches, 20 staff and over 80 volunteers and in 2017 was awarded the Five Star Fair Banking Mark. Many businesses, including East Riding Council have set up payroll partnerships with the Credit Union which are very popular, allowing employees to save and repay loans by direct payroll deduction. The DWP estimates that the Credit Union has saved local people over £13 million in interest charges since 1999. With regard to Hornsea, Mr Smith was keen to be realistic about expectations and stressed that a High Street branch would currently be beyond its resources as would a large scale cash operation necessary to deal with traders’ floats. However, he suggested that a volunteer run contact point in a busy location could help people to join, save and borrow. Local organisations could have community accounts and a school savings bank would also be a possibility. These already exist in several neighbouring towns and indeed the Credit Union aims eventually to establish a savings bank in every Primary School across the region to inspire a healthy attitude towards money. The presentation was received enthusiastically by councillors who have agreed to explore the possibility of establishing a Credit Union facility at the Town Hall or perhaps the Floral Hall. There will be opportunities for volunteers to run this facility and also to develop the school savings accounts. All the directors of the Credit Union are volunteers and recognise that a mutual exchange of skills is beneficial to all. No previous experience is necessary as full training will be given. The Council have also agreed to permit Lloyds Bank to use Cinema Street Car Park for their mobile banking service which will be offered on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and Friday mornings for 2 hours. The Nat West have also appointed a community officer who has approached the Town Council about the possibility of using the Town Hall to provide banking advice. Councillors agreed that any room rental should be offered at the standard rate.