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EdenSave holds first AGM

EdenSave Credit Union holds first Annual General MeetingEdenSave Credit Union holds first Annual General Meeting

EdenSave thanks Maureen and Peter WardEdenSave thanks Maureen and Peter Ward

3 February 2015

43 members of EdenSave Credit Union attended the inaugural Annual General Meeting at Penrith Methodist Hall on Monday night.

Peter Ward the outgoing Chair of the Credit Union delivered the Directors report.

He started by recognising the vision of Pat Godwin who championed the creation of a Credit Union in Eden and led the Study Group Project Team project over the three year period that brought EdenSave into being.

The first year of operation had been more successful than anticipated with 300 members recruited, over £200,000 received in deposits, over 40 volunteers staffing the Credit Union and Offices opened in Alston, Appleby and Kirkby Stephen as well as the main office in the Devonshire Arcade in Penrith.

A further £20,000 of grant income was raised during the year.

Mr Ward also highlighted some real good news stories, members had consolidated Payday loans seeing their interest charges dramatically reduced, the Credit Union had lent to people in need when other lenders refused a loan and by lending to people with poor credit records the Credit Union had enabled members, month by month, to rebuild a positive credit history.

Members were told that EdenSave faces some ongoing challenges. The principle source of income is from interest on loans. The take up of loans initially was very slow and whilst significant progress was made in the latter part of the year the Credit Union needs to increase the size of the loan book on an ongoing basis. At the year-end only 16.79% of deposits were out on loan. The Credit Union has funds to increase this figure to nearer 50% over the coming two years.

Mr Ward told members that EdenSave owes a massive debt of gratitude to all of the volunteers who staff the front desks, do essential back office tasks or serve on the various Credit Union Committees.

In the short/medium term the Credit Union needs to continue to attract some additional grant funding to cover core costs but these sources of funds are hard to come across as most grants are for one off projects rather than for funding core costs.

The Credit Union has opened a donations page on its website taking the idea from other Credit Unions that enjoy a steady stream on income from this source.

Members were told that the Credit Union is very much open for business and has a key role to play in the creation and retention of local wealth. The Credit Union cannot offer a full banking service but can offer a safe haven for deposits, competitive loans and most importantly a membership organisation which adds value to the community.

Mr Ward announced that the Credit Union had made a small surplus during its first year of operation.

The meeting approved a Board recommendation to pay a dividend to members of 0.4% based on their average balances during the first year.

At the time the Credit Union opened for business members of the Study Group Project Team had taken on the role of Directors. As a result all members of the Board of Directors stood down at the meeting. Members present voted for a new slate of 8 members to act as directors for periods between one and three years.

Members were also appointed to the Supervisory and Credit Committees.

The meeting approved the re appointment of Robinson+co of Workington as the Credit Union's auditors.

At the close of the meeting Alison Dumont, Vice Chair of the Credit Union thanked Mr Ward for his hard work during his time as Chairman and presented gifts of wine and flowers to him and his wife Maureen.

Immediately after the Annual General Meeting, the new Board of directors elected Adrian Rush, a member based in Alston, to the role of Chair. Other officers elected included Alison Dumont (Vice Chair) and Stephanie Fearn (Company Secretary). The outgoing Company Treasurer, Rebecca Greenop is to remain in post pending the appointment of a new Treasurer expected to take place shortly.