CASH-strapped families across Bognor Regis have no reason to turn to loan sharks or payday lenders.
A number of projects by Arun District Council to help disadvantaged residents are seeing positive results. The schemes are intended to help those who struggle to access basic financial services like bank accounts or credit.
Arun’s help of a £25,000 ten-year interest-free loan has enabled the West Sussex Credit Union to provide affordable loans to residents as well as financial advice and training. The credit union had approved 71 out of 116 loan applications worth £47,623 up to two months ago.
Norman Dingemans, who runs the council’s economic and cultural development services, said: “In such uncertain economic times, it is more vital than ever for us to address the issue of poverty and financial exclusion and that is exactly what we as a council intend to do.”
The council also works to deliver joint financial inclusion schemes. The citizen’s advice bureau in Bognor benefits from £111,400 annual funding from the council, shared with the Littlehampton bureau, to enable it to manage increased demand for advice about debt, loss of jobs and home repossession.