The Rt Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray Ross & Caithness, has hit out at Highland Council in its decision to close a number of local Access Points across the Highlands calling it a “remarkably short sighted decision”. Bishop Mark is calling on church congregations throughout the Highlands to defend what is an important facility for people in rural communities and says:
“At recent meetings with Bishops across the UK, I as Bishop of much of the Highlands, was pleased to inform my colleagues during a debate about Pay Day Loans and high interest rates that in the Highland Council area the use of Credit Unions was enhanced as people in rural communities could pay into the local Union through the wonderful local Access Points.
“ I spoke about the benefits of such a system in a deeply rural area, about how those who cannot afford or find transport to the city and towns could be served by a welcoming personal contact and of how concerns and issues could be discussed as essential business was transacted.
“ I spoke of how proud I was of a council that was clearly in touch with its rural communities. That conversation has now turned to sand in my mouth as I once again witness the poorest and least advantaged of our society stripped of those possibilities by the remarkably short sighted decision to close a number of the local Access Points.
“Come on Council, you are here to serve people not simply to make the books balance in the Council Office.”