Suffolk makes plans to beat credit crunch

COUNCIL and business leaders from around the county have today come up with a package of ideas to beat the credit crunch in Suffolk.

COUNCIL and business leaders from around the county have today come up with a package of ideas to beat the credit crunch in Suffolk.

An economic summit meeting held at Ipswich Town Football Club this morning put together a list of 45 ideas to tackle the effects of the economic downturn in Suffolk.

In total 91 delegates met to discuss practical commitments that can be made to help improve a number of key areas in the county including: employment and skills, businesses, vulnerable groups, housing, finance and access to ad-vice and community needs.

The top ten commitments are:

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

2. Councils are putting extra money into Citizens Advice Bureaux and other advice agencies to pay for more money advisers to meet growing demand.

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3. Provide more money to credit unions to provide loans to local people and stop people using loan sharks.

4. Create and strengthen support points across Suffolk for advice, to tap into funds for hardship cases which charities may have.

5. Maintain confidence in the Suffolk economy by marketing and promoting our strengths in education and employment, for example, University Campus Suffolk, expansion of Felixstowe Port, and the Olympics.

6. Promote local tourism as an alternative to going abroad, encouraging people to take breaks and holidays in Suffolk to boost the local economy.

7. Councils helping voluntary organisations to fill out application forms for funding to bring new money into Suffolk.

8. Support the training of more money advisors to meet increased demand.

9. Increase the advice and access to money available to people who are about to be made redundant in order to re-skill for a new job.

10. Councils to accelerate investment in local building projects.

Neil Watts, the chairman of the summit who is the headteacher of Northgate High School, 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.”

He added: “The thing to do is to follow through these commitments and make sure they happen. We have made a great start and we need to continue it.”

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