Suffolk summit's goals to beat recession

PUBLISHED: 17:58 04 December 2008 | UPDATED: 21:56 05 July 2010

COUNCILS pledged to pay their bills quicker and to support credit unions and citizens' advice bureaux in an attempt to help Suffolk weather the recession.

COUNCILS pledged to pay their bills quicker and to support credit unions and citizens' advice bureaux in an attempt to help Suffolk weather the recession.

The economic summit was held in Ipswich today to put forward ideas for beating the credit crunch. It was attended by 91 community leaders, businessmen, and councillors, who agreed a series of 42 actions. They agreed that confidence needs to be created in the local economy and that there was a need to work together to provide practical advice and support to the people of Suffolk.

The priorities were:

Councils will pay invoices quicker to help local businesses' cash flow to stop them going bankrupt

Councils will put extra money into CABs and other advice agencies to fund for more debt advisers

To provide more money to credit unions to provide loans to local people and stop people using loan sharks

To create and strengthen support and advice points across Suffolk, and make use of charity hardship funds

To maintain confidence in the Suffolk economy by marketing and promoting its strengths in education and employment

To promote local tourism as an alternative to going abroad

Councils will helping voluntary organisations apply for funding to bring new money into Suffolk

To support the training of more money advisors to meet increased demand

Increase the advice and funding for people made redundant in order to retrain for a new job

Councils to speed up investment in local building projects.

Neil Watts, chair of the summit, said: “We need to support the residents and businesses of Suffolk. It's our duty to lead the community through this difficult time and do what we can to assist in countering the effects of the economic downturn. I am pleased that all delegates at the summit rose to the challenge and produced a set of practical actions that will offer real help and assistance to Suffolk families and businesses.”

Jeremy Pembroke, leader of Suffolk County Council, said: “Suffolk County Council will be providing £250,000 to Credit Unions to provide low cost short-term loans for those who really need them, to avoid vulnerable people using loan sharks. That is an action which we are committed to doing. We will also promote confidence in the Suffolk economy by promoting the market strengths we already have, such as educational institutes like University Campus Suffolk and the Building Schools for the Future Programme.”

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