Torfaen first council in Wales to block pay day lender websites
8:10am Friday 27th September 2013 in News
TORFAEN has become the first local authority in Wales to block access to pay day lender websites on all council owned computers.
The motion, which passed at a meeting of full council in Pontypool last Wednesday, will mean sites for companies like Wonga and Quick Quid will no longer be viewable on computers in council offices, libraries and community centres.
The quick to access loans have been criticised for the huge interest rates they charge borrowers, often with APRs into the thousands of per cent.
Labour’s Abersychan ward councillor Giles Davies said: “ At the moment we should be looking after the most vulnerable people in our communities more than ever.
“I would read in the papers how councils in England had been doing this [blocking access to sites] and I thought it seemed a real good idea.
“It’s not about big brother saying you should or shouldn’t be doing this but it’s us saying ‘why should the council support this?’
“If people still want to use these sites in their own home, fine, but we shouldn’t be supporting them to do it.”
Asked if he’d taken the idea from the leader of Monmouthshire’s Labour group, Dimitri Bartouni, who told us about his proposal for Monmouthshire to be the first in Wales to adopt the same tactic, Cllr Davies said he hadn’t.
“I spoke to a couple of councillors I’m good friends with about the idea before the recess in August and they encouraged me to go for it but we just had to wait until after the recess.
“I wanted us to be the first in Wales to adopt it and I think we’re going to come in about a day ahead of them in the end the way the dates of the meetings has fallen,” he said.
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