Letters - October 16, 2014

Opening of Credit Union shop in  Birley Street, Blackpool. 5000th member Sarah Beacham with Anthony Brookes.

Opening of Credit Union shop in Birley Street, Blackpool. 5000th member Sarah Beacham with Anthony Brookes.

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Have your say

Don’t get into debt

Finances

You ask ( Gazette, October 13) ‘Is a Credit Union a good idea? Should people be allowed to get credit?’

In today’s world so many of us live on credit and this has led to personal debt in this country being far too high.

In my younger days, credit was difficult to achieve and long chats with bank managers were the norm if you wanted to borrow money.

You had to convince your bank manager that you were able to afford the repayments and were often refused credit.

Since the deregulation of financial services in the 1980s credit has become far easier, with a multitude of companies offering money at a price, but, let’s face it, their one and only goal is to make money out of you.

This deregulation has led to the so-called pay day lenders, where interest rates are normally in the thousands of per cent per year.

So now let’s look at credit unions. First, they are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, which means that if you join and put any money in, you can’t lose it as it is guaranteed by the Government.

The maximum interest by law you can be charged on a credit union loan is three per cent per month and most charge considerably less than this.

Credit unions encourage you to save with them and may insist that you save before you can borrow. Credit unions are mutual organisations and are therefore owned by their members, so there are no 
shareholders demanding 
bigger and bigger profits each year.

So do I welcome a credit union on the High Street in Blackpool – I can only say with ‘open arms’.

I now have to declare an interest as I’m a (unpaid) volunteer director and loans officer of the First Rate Credit Union, which is an industrial credit union based at BAE Systems.

While doing this job I have seen first-hand what pay day loans and high credit card debt etc can do to individuals and families.

A sudden bill or the car or boiler breaking down sends so many into spiralling debt as they see the only solution is high interest loans.

So I would say to everyone who reads this, join a credit union.

Kevan Benfold

Cornwall Avenue

North Shore

Blackpool music festival

Support

A big thumbs-up to the organisers of Blackpool Music Festival and all the bands and artistes who took part.

I managed to see 10 different acts over the weekend and was delighted and proud to see the excellent standard and diversity of the performers.

I would definitely advocate the council gets fully behind this and make it part of the 
annual event calendar.

I can only see it going from strength to strength.

Coun Tony Williams

Leader of The Conservative Group

Limit makes drivers angry

Frustration

I am a retired police officer with some 15 years’ traffic 
experience.

I agree with E.Bryce Goulding (20mph speed limit, Your Say, October 13), and his comments about increased pollution by vehicles travelling at 20mph.

Actually, this is only part of the problem, really.

I use the roads in Cleveleys and Blackpool on a daily basis, and try my best to keep to the 20mph limit, but find it 
almost verging on the 
impossible.

This is because the net result in several instances is that it causes other drivers to show obvious impatience, and more than once to overtake aggressively out of frustration.

More than once they have gestured to me in their obvious anger.

Result – raised blood pressure and therefore increasing the likelihood of an accident.

Significantly, a large number of the drivers who disregard the 20mph limit are local taxis and bus drivers.

The colossal amount of outlay on this project cannot be justified for the very good 
reason that it will never be 
adequately enforced.

I.W. J

Thornton

Join our Navy Association

Welcome

Calling all naval people – come and join us.

Our Royal Naval Association meets on the first Sunday every month at the Conservative Club, Lowther Road, Fleetwood.

We welcome all ex-naval personnel, i.e. Royal Navy, Merchant Navy, plus any relatives as social members.

One issue we have taken up is what do Royal Navy people think about preserved 
pensions?

People who left the service before 1975 have no entitlement.

We have taken this up with our MP Eric Ollerenshaw.

Angela Patchett

RNA Secretary

Fleetwood

(01253 878747)