Close to 100 people were present at the Floral Hall cafe on Friday 9th February for the Forum chaired by Mayor Anne Padgett to discuss the town’s response to the closures of the Minor Injuries Unit and the Banks. The meeting began with an update from the League of Friends on the situation at the Cottage Hospital. Although an official announcement hasn’t yet been made all the signs are that the MIU will close on Saturday 31st March. Rosie Bullard who is the Coordinator for the Hornsea Community First Responders proposed that establishment of a Community First Aid facility as a substitute for the MIU which could be run by volunteer First Aiders and retired nurses. Councillors and League of Friends members were convinced that the CCG wouldn’t be amenable to allowing this facility at the Cottage Hospital and so a working group has been set up to look at how a First Aid Centre might be set up and an alternative location. If you would like to be part of the working group or to volunteer as a First Aider (training can be given if necessary) please contact Rosie on:- [email protected] or 07703166422 The discussion then moved on to the Bank closures. Councillor Brian Morgan put forward the idea of an alternative currency as part of a possible solution. This has already been used successfully in a number of other towns and cities and has the added advantage of helping to boost the local economy, since money spent within the town remains there rather than being taken elsewhere. Brian argued that local currencies are good examples of how towns can be masters of their destinies, which is the spirit that we will need as we see many of our services being taken away from us. Contact Brian on [email protected] if you would like to help him take this further. However, there was some scepticism as to how a local currency would be able to fill the void left by the loss of the Banks, but there is the possibility of bringing a Credit Union to the town which may be able to fulfil this need in the immediate future. Hull and East Riding Credit Union already has branches in Withernsea, Beverley and Bridlington which are staffed by volunteers. Councillor John Whittle has approached the manager of the Credit Union, John Smith, and invited him to speak at 7 pm prior to the Monday 5th March Council meeting. Anyone interested in volunteering to help run a Credit Union is encouraged to attend his talk. It is worth noting that the Credit Unions in other towns are run by local Community Centres, something which Hornsea lacks currently. With Banks and Council buildings soon to be standing empty in the town centre, is there a possibility that one of them could be employed to house these new initiatives as well as a wide range of other community initiatives?