A few weeks ago, I spoke at the official launch of Liberty Credit Union – an exciting addition to Redbridge’s infrastructure which will help residents to save, give them access to low-cost credit and high-quality financial advice.
While the economy is growing, many families are still struggling to make ends meet. During these times many turn to payday lenders as a last resort. We need to help struggling families to understand the range of other options that are available to them, and the credit union is a fantastic way of doing this.
Debt also has an effect on people’s well being, and has deep consequences for their mental health, family life and ability to work. Through the credit union, we can help people get the financial support they need as early as possible before minor problems start snowballing into something more serious.
It’s is also a great way to encourage local investment. For every one pound saved in the credit union, over three pounds are generated for the local economy. This offers an exciting opportunity to help support local business and entrepreneurs at a time when mainstream bank loans are still hard to come by.
But that’s just one of the things we’re doing to support local businesses. We’ve launched the Enterprise Exchange, a pop-up business hub in the Ilford Exchange to give expert advice to local businesses and entrepreneurs which will run until the end of October. Work Redbridge is thriving, and thousands of people came to the jobs fair a few weeks ago to meet with local employers. We’re refreshing our Local Plan to make sure Redbridge does well out the growth the capital sees over the next few years.
Helping struggling families stand on their own two feet and make choices that are right for them is what this administration is all about. The credit union is a perfect example of what can be done through working with partner organisations across the borough and thinking holistically about how we build stronger, more resilient families, neighbourhoods and communities.