A scheme aimed at helping people on low incomes is hoping to open a shop in the heart of Wisbech with the help of European funding.
Anglia Rainbow Savers the credit union run by volunteers in Wisbech is hoping to secure funding which will help keep a shop in the town centre for six years via the Local Enterprise Partnership/European Social Fund.
And Fenland District Council has promised to support the funding bid after independent councillor Virginia Bucknor raised the issue at the recent full council meeting.
Speaking at the meeting Mrs Bucknor explained there are many people in Fenland who don’t have bank accounts who are seriously disadvantaged as a result.
Those on zero hour contracts and others, who are paid by cheque, but don’t have a bank account find themselves out of pocket by as much as £26 if they approach a payday loan company to cash a £250 cheque - money they can ill afford to pay out.
On the other hand, if they have a Rainbow Savers credit union account, they can get the payment loaded onto their debit card at no charge.
Mrs Bucknor told the meeting: “We operate two Rainbow Savers credit unions with volunteers in Wisbech. And we very much appreciate the admin support FDC are giving. Among the Wisbech Rainbow Savers volunteers we have five Wisbech Fenland District councillors because of the importance we all place on supporting Rainbow Savers.
“You’ll be aware that the Government has given additional funding towards supporting Credit Unions through the Local Enterprise Partnership/European Social Fund. Anglia Rainbow Savers will be submitting a match-funding bid to seek to secure a shop in the heart of Wisbech for six years. There are other groups of course also competing for the same funding for their credit unions.
“So I am asking if FDC will lend its weight and support (no financial commitment) to this bid. And also could they liaise with Cambridgeshire County Council to seek their support as well?”
Volunteers will be visiting local bank branches, including Barclays, who have agreed nationwide to promote credit unions, to distribute information leaflets.