Councillors hear how Eden is tackling mountain of debt in the district (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Councillors hear how Eden is tackling mountain of debt in the district
3:16pm Friday 6th December 2013 in News
NEARLY 450 debts with a combined value of more than £1.1million have been resolved in Eden between April and September.
Cumbria County Council’s Local Committee for Eden, meeting today received a report into financial inclusion in the district – including credit unions and the county council’s Money Advice Service, delivered by Citizen’s Advice Cumbria.
Councillors were told that over the past six months the newly-formed EdenSave Credit Union and the Money Advice Service, funded by the county council, have made very good progress in the district.
Since the new Money Advice Contract started in April the 450 debts that have been resolved represent well over 100 people being helped.
The county council has contracted a Money Advice Service since 2007 and around 9,000 people across the county have received help, advice and support over this period.
Since 2012 the council has invested £200,000 in the development of credit unions across Cumbria. The investment has supported the establishment of sustainable credit union coverage across the county.
At present, the EdenSave Credit Union is currently based in Penrith, but outreach facilities with payment points are planned for the future at Appleby, Kirkby Stephen and Alston.
Coun Martin Stephenson, chairman of Cumbria County Council’s Local Committee for Eden, said: “Good progress is being made in tackling personal debt in Eden.
“Over the past six months for every £1 spent on Money Advice in the district, around £70 worth of debt has been resolved, which is an excellent return.
“The establishment of EdenSave Credit Union has been a very positive development as credit unions are a tremendous way for communities to save together, access low interest loans and help keep people out of the clutches of loan sharks.
“While good progress is being made, personal debt is still a major issue for many in our communities and continuing to tackle it remains a key part of our anti-poverty strategy.”
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