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New strategy by local council hopes to expand the services of Darlington Credit Union


22 Jun 18

Darlington Borough Council is set to approve a new strategy that will provide funds for Darlington Credit Union (DCU) to help those most vulnerable in the community.

More and more residents of Darlington are facing financial issues and are seeking help from various organisations such as Citizens advice, local food banks and local charities. The local council are determined to avert the consequences for families of borrowing from loan sharks for such things as white goods, the additional costs of Christmas or household repairs.

After the council received evidence from Citizens Advice that although there is a concern of financial hardship in many communities in the town, it is amongst those on low or insecure wages who are feeling a damning financial strain. They stress that the demand for the services of DCU has never been greater.  

An officers’ report to the authority’s Cabinet states that since its beginnings in 2009, Darlington Credit Unions membership has increased from 400 to 6500.

In response to this Darlington Borough Council are set to recommend the authority increases its deferred shareholding in DCU by £50,000 to enable DCU to give low-cost loans to people who live or work in the DL postcode area.

Councillor Bill Dixon, who is a strong supporter of DCU, stated the importance of the funding and has predicted 1,500 more families would need to use its services and reiterates the importance of the credit union because of the lack of support from banks, he says: “This is what the credit union have asked for. This is not a figure we have plucked out of thin air.”

He also urged residents to consider investing savings into the credit union: “I have done it myself and have encouraged my friends to do it aswell”.

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