Council looks into ways to save you cash

Moves are being made to help people manage their money
Moves are being made to help people manage their money
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Money earmarked to make Falkirk ‘fairer’ could be used to offer residents household goods at discount prices.

An outlet, which could be premises or run online, would sell white goods and furniture at cut rates and would also given customers access to socially-responsible finance through credit unions and similar organisations.

The idea comes from a Smarterbuys website which has been launched in northern England as a way of drawing people away from loan sharks and crippling hire purchase agreements.

Now, officials hope to bring the model here by using money from the Fairer Falkirk Fund.

During the Executive last week, Councillor Linda Gow said: “I welcome this.

“Smarterbuys helps poorer people who can get caught in the trap of high interest payments.

“This is something we can do to catch people before they get deeper into debt.”

Falkirk Council bosses have agreed to use £10,000 of the £60,000 fund to commission a feasibility study into bringing the initiative to Falkirk.

There are also plans to open a branch of Moneyline offering an alternative to payday and short-term loans, and to appoint a project/change manager to guide the council and its services through the welfare reforms.

Council leader, Craig Martin said: “This is an excellent way to utilise the fund for the needs of the community.”

In agreeing the plans, the council knocked back an application from Link Group for £50,000 to fund a Welfare Rights Officer for the town.

However, officers agreed the service was already being provided by the Citizens 
Advice Bureaux.