Changes at the top for the Fylde coast’s credit union

CLEVR Money, the credit union for Blackpool, Fylde, Wyre, Preston and Lancaster, has welcomed a new president and a new treasurer.

By Tim Gavell
Monday, 18th April 2022, 12:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 7:48 am

Solicitor and Blackpool councillor David Owen has stepped up from his role as deputy to head the board of directors of the organisation which helps people save and stay out of the clutches of loan sharks, while retired banker Philip Owen has been appointed Treasurer.

Councillor David Owen, who has served as a representative on Blackpool Borough Council for 43 years, has been a member of the credit union’s board since its formation in 2009.

Well known in the resort, he is also chairman of the council’s planning committee, chairman of the Winter Gardens Trust and runs his own law firm Layton Law.

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CLEVR Money_Ron Bell OBE with Coun David Owen

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Coun Owen replaces Ron Bell OBE as president of the credit union board. Mr Bell, who received an OBE for Services to the Royal Marines following his seven-year tenure as National Chairman of their charity and was also a Blackpool councillor, was another a founding member of the credit union.

In handing over the reins, Mr Bell told the board: “It has been an absolute pleasure working with this board and the fantastic CLEVR Money operational team. I am sad to go, but pleased to have overseen a phenomenal period for the organisation, having a record £2.96m out on loan helping people in this community to avoid bad debt.

“I know I’m leaving CLEVR Money in extremely capable hands and that the commitment of the board and staff will ensure the longevity and success of the organisation for many years to come. Thank you all for your friendship and support over the years.”

The new president paid tribute to Mr Bell who held the position for six years saying that the credit union had benefitted from his deep commitment, knowledge and leadership over the past 15 years.

Philip Owen was also voted in as treasurer, taking over the role from council finance boss Steve Thompson. Mr Owen is also chairman of the Credit Committee, a role he took on in 2019. He retired as manager for Barclays Bank in Lancashire after 36 years and has served on the CLEVR Money board for the last four years.

The credit union has also welcomed new board member John Donnellon, chief executive of Blackpool Coastal Housing. While Paul Whitehead, director of finance and Resource for Blackpool Housing Company, has joined the CLEVR Money Supervisory Committee.