Council deal saves town Credit Union

Order from Left to right - Mark Fretwell, Stuart Richardson, Sonya Ward, Agnieszka Drozdz, Rev Keith Hebden & Steve Yemm
Order from Left to right - Mark Fretwell, Stuart Richardson, Sonya Ward, Agnieszka Drozdz, Rev Keith Hebden & Steve Yemm

District councillors have agreed a support package to help Mansfield’s credit union carry on its work in the town.

There will be no cash handout to the Mansfield branch of Nottingham Credit Union, despite calls for financial backing from some members of the authority.

But Mansfield District Council rubber-stamped a deal at a meeting on Monday, which will see a range of support packages offered to the credit union.

The authority is offering to involve the Mansfield branch in an East Midlands-wide scheme, to encourage council tenants to make savings with the organisation, and to provide it with a loan for the future purchase of town centre accommodation.

The council is also offering to allow the credit union to use funds previously allocated to Maun Valley Credit Union.

In return, the credit union will be required to take responsibility for administering the scheme, and for the recovery of outstanding cash.

Additionally, the council will consider joining the credit union as a corporate member with the aim of paying in £25,000 into an account.

There are also offers to assist the organisation with marketing and administration needs, including the possibility of taking on an apprentice through an existing council support scheme.

Labour Group deputy leader Sonya Ward, who has organised a petition to keep the credit union open, welcomed the announcement.

She said: “The petition has been instrumental in this process and a total of 1,150 people have signed it to show their support.

“The support package that has been agreed was not what we asked for, but it is helpful all the same. The credit union could have been closed this autumn, and it’s still here.

“I am extremely grateful to the people of Mansfield for supporting the credit union in this way.

“I would now ask these people to continue their support by joining the credit union.”

The development comes following a bitter row between councillors and Mayor Tony Egginton, after a motion was agreed that £45,000 should be set aside from the council budget to financially support the credit union.

Ella Ferris, from the credit union, said: “We know a lot of people in Mansfield would benefit from our services and we are really grateful to all the help we have had in raising awareness. We now hope to be able to recruit an additional 1,600 new members in the next two years.”