Fuel Poverty and Credit Unions
To receive a short introductory presentation from Chris Mole, Eastern Savings and Loans Credit Union.
Councillor Birt raised a Point of Order under the Local Government Act 1972, Schedule 12, Part 1, Paragraph 4 that set the requirement for the distribution of the agenda and read out the paragraph:
‘(1A) Five clear days at least before a meeting of a principal council in England-
(a) Notice of the time and place of the intended meeting shall be published at the council’s offices and, where the meeting is called by members of the council, the notice shall be signed by those members and shall specify the business proposed to be transacted at the meeting; and
(b) A summons to attend the meeting, specifying the business proposed to be transacted at the meeting, and authenticated by the proper officer of the council, shall be sent to every member of the council by an appropriate method.’
Councillor Birt stated that in this instance it did not specify ‘the business proposed to be transacted at the meeting’, the business proposed was passed to the Overview & Scrutiny Commission by full Council as two separate motions from two different meetings and suggested that they should be two different items on the agenda.
He stated that there had not been an Officer report included in the agenda pack and there had not been any reference made to the motions. Although the title of the agenda item included fuel poverty, it had not been mentioned at all and therefore the item that members of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission had been asked to discuss was now different. He stated that the agenda before them was not what was to be discussed today.
The Chairman said that the Commission were meeting to discuss two motions, fuel poverty and Credit Unions as a result of two recommendations from Full Council. The Commission was not a decision-making body, and this item would be discussed to agree recommendations to be recorded through the minutes and passed back to Full Council who would make any decisions. The Chairman asked for the two motions to be made available for Members.
NOTICE OF MOTION:
PROMOTING CREDIT UNIONS
(Council minute ref 106/22)
Breckland Council notes that:
The rising cost of living crisis is causing genuine problems for people with their finances. There is anecdotal evidence of an increase in loan shark and pay day lender activity across the Breckland district with residents being forced into credit options at significantly high levels of interest. Often residents become unable to make the repayments and are pushed into a spiral of debt. Conversely, the level of credit union engagement in the district is low.
The long-term solution to the problem must be to increase wages and control the cost of living so that people are not forced into their arms, but in the short-term more needs to be done to give residents information about other ways to access alternative credit options.
This Council believes that credit unions offer a sustainable alternative to high-cost short-term credit and should be supported by this council.
This Council therefore ... view the full minutes text for item 104