A CREDIT union could be set up in Tendring to prevent struggling residents falling into the clutches of payday loan companies and loan sharks.

Paul Honeywood, Tendring Council’s cabinet member for housing and benefits, has proposed the idea to help people steer clear of high-interest lenders.

The council’s cabinet is set to decide whether to go ahead with the scheme today.

Mr Honeywood said Colchester Credit Union, which was launched in 2002 and has 500 members, could be expanded to include Tendring, and the district council will pay the £3 joining fee for new savers.

The council will also offer up to £5,000 from its housing revenue account to be ring-fenced for loans to council house tenants, as well as providing office space in Clacton Town Hall.

Harwich Job Centre will also be setting up an access point for members of the union.