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Bury St Edmunds: Bankruptcies are down, but other forms of insolvency are on the rise

PUBLISHED: 06:00 25 June 2014

Darren Bullen, manager of the West Suffolk branch of Christians Against Poverty (CAP).

Darren Bullen, manager of the West Suffolk branch of Christians Against Poverty (CAP).

While the number of people being declared bankrupt in Bury St Edmunds has dropped by 64%, other forms of insolvency have actually risen, a debt specialist has said.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has revealed that between 2009 and 2012 the number of bankruptcies declared in Bury has fallen by 64% (112 cases) following a question by the town’s MP David Ruffley.

Mr Ruffley said this demonstrated the strength of Bury’s economy and the UK’s recovery since the crash.

But Darren Bullen, manager of the Christians Against Poverty (CAP) west Suffolk debt centre, said these figures did not show the full picture as, in fact, two other forms of insolvency – debt relief orders (DROs) and individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) –had increased in the Bury constituency.

He said between 2009 and 2012 DROs had risen from 46 to 98 and IVAs from 76 to 98.

He said while bankruptcy may be down nationally, the use of DROs “has rocketed”.

He added: “I’m really, really glad bankruptcies have dropped off and that’s great and I hope that continues, but as far as we are concerned – as a practitioner on the ground – bankruptcy is only one part of the story.

“What I’m seeing on the ground is things are not improving in the way these [Department for Business, Innovation and Skills] statistics suggest they might be. We still have a long way to go yet and lots of people really are struggling.”

The west Suffolk debt centre, which opened in October 2011, has seen 20 families go debt free, 10 through DROs, eight via bankruptcy and two through repayment.

The law firm representing former pupils of the disgraced Oakwood School in Stowmarket say their clients have received more than £2million in compensation from Suffolk County Council.

Emergency services are currently at the scene of a two-vehicle collision in Newton near Sudbury.

The founder of a charity that supports sexually abused children in Suffolk has given an insight into what it’s like working in this harrowing field as the organisation marks its fifth birthday.

Family and friends have raised a glass for Muriel ‘Midge’ Barker – who celebrates her 106th birthday on Friday

Essex Police are hunting a man wanted in connection with offences including assault, attempted GBH, burglary, theft of vehicles and making off without payment.

Parents have been urged to read more often to their children after research found almost half feel they do not set a good example at home across East Anglia.

A woman and three teenagers have appeared in court charged with Class A drugs offences in Ipswich.

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