In recent correspondence with senior officers of RBS, Michael Russell MSP has outlined his continued disappointment and frustration with the treatment of communities across Argyll and Bute.
The Royal Bank have now closed Campbeltown branch and are in the process of closing Rothesay branch. Inveraray branch was granted a stay of execution until the end of the year however it will still be closed.
The House of Commons Scottish Affairs Select Committee and a wide swathe of community groups and charities have been highly critical of the banks decision to close branches in such rural communities, but RBS appear to remain deaf to all reason.
Commenting local MSP Michael Russell said:
“This is becoming a very simple issue. Does RBS want to support rural communities or does it want to undermine them? It is taking actions to achieve the latter and in those circumstances it deserves every bit of criticism it gets.”
“RBS also deserves to have its customers make a judgement about whether they wish to continue with such a company which appears absolutely deaf to the opinions of those it is meant to serve and deaf to the facts of the damage that it is doing.”
“I will continue to voice the concerns of the communities that I serve and can only hope that sooner or later RBS start to listen.”
SNP MSP Michael Russell is calling on local groups in Argyll and Bute to apply to the Scottish Government’s new Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
The Scottish Government announced the new £6m fund in response to the tourism boom across rural Scotland, and the money will be invested over the course of two years (2018/19 and 2019/20) to help ensure the services and facilities tourists and communities need are provided.
The new fund will support a wide range of improvement projects – such as parking, camping facilities, recycling points and footpath access, in areas such as the North Coast 500 route as well as at Historic Environment Scotland sites.
Commenting, SNP MSP Michael Russell said:
“The tourist industry is vital to the Argyll and Bute economy, which attracts visitors from all over the world each year.
“The new £6m Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund will help cater to the very welcome increasing tourist numbers in Argyll and Bute and help alleviate pressure on transport, services and facilities. This support for infrastructure will enable even more people to enjoy this most beautiful country in the world and is an example of the SNP Scottish Government listening to and responding to the needs of rural Scotland.
“Local groups in Argyll and Bute that would like to bid for this funding can get in touch with me if they need any advice.”
Michael Russell the SNP MSP for Argyll and Bute has welcomed the announcement of a further £1.75 billion Scottish Government investment in affordable housing across Scotland, which includes £50.576m investment in Argyll and Bute.
Councils and house-builders across Scotland’s 32 local authorities will have the opportunity to plan ahead with grant subsidies guaranteed, for the first time, for the next three years until 2021.
In 2018-19, £532 million will be shared amongst local authorities – rising to £591 million in 2019-20 and £630 million in 2020-21.
Michael Russell MSP for Argyll and Bute said:
“The announcement that Argyll and Bute will receive £50.576 over the next three years provides the certainty that Argyll and Bute and the sector needs to keep progressing and ensure we keep up the momentum to reach the Scottish Government’s target of 50,000 new affordable homes by 2021.
“Increasing the supply of affordable homes is a key SNP commitment and plays a vital role in helping to tackle poverty and inequality in Argyll and Bute.
“Committing funding until the end of this parliament will help ensure that Scotland leads the way in building homes that are high-quality, efficient and affordable, and will strengthen our house-building sector and the estimated 14,000 jobs that the affordable housing supply programme supports each year.
“The SNP believes that everyone in Scotland deserves a warm, affordable home and with a huge number of affordable homes approved last year, we are making great progress towards that aim.”