A PETITION to stop the closing of Portland’s only bank has already received 200 signatures.

The petition comes amid growing concern about the announcement from Lloyds Bank that it will shut its Easton Square branch – one of 100 to close nationwide.

But a petition has been launched on change.org by Weymouth and Portland borough councillor Penny McCartney in a bid to force a rethink.

Cllr McCartney said: “I feel strongly about petitioning because of the power of Facebook and social media.

“I only set up the petition two weeks ago and already there are 200 signatures. That’s amazing.”

Lloyds announced nationwide branch closures on April 6.

The Portland branch, which is the last remaining bank on the island, is set to close its doors on July 3, after a review which claimed the bank only has 24 weekly customers.

The decision has been met with a backlash from residents and councillors, with fears the elderly will suffer the most.

Portland Town Council has also launched its own petition which residents are welcome to sign.

Writing on the change.org petition, Cllr McCartney said: “The bank is not just for monetary transactions but is a community hub, where conversations with the staff could mean the difference of not being so isolated.

“I use this bank and the loss of the bank would mean a loss to our community.”

Mayor of Portland Sandy West is also against the closure.

Cllr West has signed Cllr McCartney’s petition, saying: “Many of our residents are seniors, and we have a lot of families there. This is not acceptable. So do the right thing and leave us the only bank on the island.”

South Dorset MP Richard Drax described the decision to close the branch as ‘deeply regrettable.’

He said: “This is the last bank on Portland. Closing it means that customers will need to drive to Weymouth to do their banking. For most small businesses, that adds a daily, time consuming and vexatious trip to the mainland.”

Cllr McCartney, who said the petition is ‘not political,’ is keen for it to be presented alongside a petition in the local Tesco branch, as well as signatures that are being collected outside the bank.

Cllr McCartney wants to get as many signatures as possible, in the hope that a case can be presented to Lloyds representatives in a couple of weeks’ time.

The petition named ‘Save our Lloyds Bank on Portland Dorset’ can be found online at change.org.