Joe Cullinane

Scottish Labour Councillor for Kilwinning

Reason 18: Campaign against payday loans and support for our local credit union

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Joe has led a campaign against payday loans in North Ayrshire.

As part of that campaign Joe and the local Labour Party delivered thousands of leaflets in the run up to Christmas in 2012 promoting 1st Alliance Credit Union in Kilwinning whilst warning local people of the dangers of using payday loans.

He also got North Ayrshire Council to back the campaign against legal loan sharks....

 

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Following that winter campaign Joe invited Kezia Dugdale, who was leading the Debtbusters campaign in Scotland, to North Ayrshire and they held a roundtable event in Kilwinning to discuss short term credit and how consumers could be better protected.

Joe continued those discussions with local groups and in November 2013 proposed a local action plan at North Ayrshire Council....

 

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That action plan led to the establishment of a short term working group on non-standard lending. The group made a number of recommendations, including a wage advance scheme for council employees, to offer an affordable alternative to high cost credit if they have a short term cash flow need, that the SNP administration have since rejected.

However, other recommendations, including a £50,000 grant to 1st Alliance Credit Union to help it grow its membership, has been implemented.

Over the last few months Joe has been working with local secondary schools to try and establish pupil run 'savings clubs' in partnership with 1st Alliance. These savings clubs would improve financial literacy and give the pupils running the clubs great experience.

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