HC Deb 17 November 2003 vol 413 c532W
Mr. Gardiner

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what role credit unions play in alleviating poverty in communities; and what role they(a) have and (b) will have in the future as part of New Deal for Communities. [136289]

Yvette Cooper

Credit unions have an important role to play in tackling financial exclusion. By bridging the gap between mainstream financial services and those of limited means, credit unions make a real difference to the individuals and communities they serve.

New Deal for Communities (NDC) Partnerships have a broad remit to tackle issues of crime, worklessness, education, health and housing in the physical environment in some of our most deprived neighbourhoods. A number of NDC Partnerships have already done work to develop credit unions or are covered by credit unions that already exist in their area–such as East Manchester NDC and Knowsley NDC– and Partnerships will continue to do this in future where it is relevant to the needs of the neighbourhood. For example, in the Brent area there are currently on-going discussions between Camden Credit Union and South Kilburn NDC on the subject of Camden Credit Union extending their common bond to the NDC area.