St Albans District Council looks at ways to help those hit by economic downturn

PUBLISHED: 20:14 15 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:39 06 May 2010

A PLEDGE has been made by St Albans District Council to look into ways of helping those struggling in the current economic downturn. A paper detailing the council s financial position and how people in the area may be helped was presented by the Chief Exe

A PLEDGE has been made by St Albans District Council to look into ways of helping those struggling in the current economic downturn.

A paper detailing the council's financial position and how people in the area may be helped was presented by the Chief Executive Daniel Goodwin at Tuesday night's Cabinet meeting.

Mr Goodwin assured councillors that the district council was only investing in "robust institutions" and that reviews were taking place regularly.

He said that the institutions considered to be at developing risk were removed from their list through the summer as soon as their ratings dropped.

Those were Bradford & Bingley, Cheshire, Derbyshire and Halifax Bank of Scotland.

Mr Goodwin warned that many people in the district council be hit by unemployment, especially those who worked in the City - both the high-flying workers and support staff.

He also raised concerns about the effect the credit crunch and looming recession could have on local businesses and he said that the council would hold discussions with the sector as to how resilience could be maximised.

It was also reported that the council's own revenues were falling in areas such as planning and building control and that their costs could potentially rise with benefit payments.

Cllr Mike Ellis said the focus should be on helping individual residents and suggested that the council publicised the fact that many of them could be entitled to benefits they weren't aware of. He also said it would be a good time to encourage car sharing.

Cllr Joyce Lusby said that she wanted local residents to be reminded that they could seek help from the Credit Union rather than turning to back-street loan sharks.

The approach to dealing with the financial crisis will now be developed into a full report.

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