BENARTY and Lochgelly Credit Union is making strong strides forward, the organisation's annual general meeting heard.

The credit union is one of the strongest in Scotland and has been built up through committed volunteers and a hard working committee.

Moving forward the Credit Union's refurbished base in Benarty Square, Ballingry, will shortly be officially opened.

The meeting was told by chairman, Willie Clarke, that while the past year had thrown up challenges these were being met and the organisation was showing good signs of continuing the develop its membership.

Said Willie: "The work being done with primary schools in Lochgelly and Benarty has been outstanding and gives youngsters a good grounding in saving.

"These will be our members of the future too and it really is great to see their enthusiasm."

He indicated that like all organisations that offer loans, Benarty and Lochgelly Credit Union suffer from 'delinquent' situations but these were pursued.

This, he said, involved members being contacted by phone or letter advising them of the arrears on their accounts and giving them every opportunity to contact the credit union to resolve outstanding debt.

"A good response was received from most of those who had fallen into arrears for various reasons, however, if court action needs to be taken then that takes place," he said.

He also said that the regulation passbook was being replaced with a system which sees a receipt printed showing the balance of both share or loan and monies paid at the time of the visit.

Mr Clarke concluded: "I would like to thank all our volunteers who do a brilliant job each week and also our board of directors who are also a very hardworking group.

"It is an exciting time with the refurbished office set to be officially opened soon."