Our first public meeting was very successful with about 60 to 80 people at the Linklater Pavilion. We had six excellent speakers, who represented some elements of a potential bank, a lot of clear information and some ideas of what to do next.

With Julia Waterlow’s excellent chairing, we managed to cram all this into one evening, AND have enough time for discussion as well as further talking over refreshments. Thanks to all our speakers and to Sue, Susan, Colin, Dirk, Julia, Adrienne and everyone else who worked so hard.

Speakers panel – for presentations click on the names

Tony Greenham from New Economics Foundation
       
John Magness, the Finance Director of Lewes District Council
     
Emma Larby from South Coast Money Line, changing name to Parity Trust
      
Colin Holden, East Sussex Credit Union
      
Fiona Brownsell and Robin Brownsell: both involved in setting up Metrobank.

With Tony’s help, we identified some steps we could take now:

We can all become savers with the East Sussex Credit Union, helping it to grow and develop and help more people to avoid loan sharks. We can publicise it widely. As it grows it can become more like a bank – ESCU would be keen to explore this, and further projects may develop in conjunction with the council.

We can research and publicise all the other existing opportunities to save and invest our money locally.

We can watch the developing independent banks – it may become easier and cheaper over the next few years to set up a small bank.

Some people gave their names as interested in taking the process further. I will put you on the Google group, and will email soon about dates for a follow-up meeting to explore how we can carry out the above actions and explore other options.

Ann Link