Web grants threat to gambling and payday loan firms

South Wales Argus: Grants  threat to gambling and payday loan firms Grants threat to gambling and payday loan firms

FIRMS that trade in gambling, adult entertainment and payday loans could be excluded from grants for help with getting faster internet connections in Newport.

Launched last month, the Super Connected Cities Voucher Scheme offers small to medium sized businesses the chance to apply for grants of £250 to £3,000 to help with connection charges to superfast or ultrafast broadband.

But Newport council’s cabinet is to consider plans to reject applications for vouchers to firms that work in the adult entertainment, payday loans and gambling sectors.

The city was one of 22 in the UK that were successful in applying for funding from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, winning £6 million in funding.

The application process is set nationally, but councils can implement local exceptions, and some of the other successful UK cities have decided to exclude from the scheme firms that trade in gambling and adult entertainment.

“Rejecting applications for Super Connected Cities connection vouchers from the listed industry sectors would support the council’s stated aim of safeguarding vulnerable members of the community,” a report to cabinet says.

“It would also help to validate a previous council decision to block access to the websites of payday loan companies from council owned computers.”

Newport council previously decided to block payday loans websites from its own public access computers in a bid to safeguard vulnerable people from financial exploitation.

Initial research by council officers found there are four properties in the city centre, but it is thought that further research will find others elsewhere in the city.

It is hoped that 1,700 small to medium sized firms will take up a connection under the scheme.

Applications for a connection voucher must be received by March 31 and the connection must be installed by November 2015.

Cabinet will decide whether to decline applications from the firms in the three industry sectors when it meets next Monday.

Comments (3)

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9:47am Thu 6 Feb 14

Casper says...

I trust the council will be taking the same holier-than-thou approach to firms which sell alcohol and tobacco.
While we're at it, let's penalise companies which sell cakes and chocolates - very unhealthy!
Chance of addiction to prescription painkillers? That's chemists out, then.
Travel agents offering adults-only holidays? That's adult entertainment, so no grant.
How about clothes companies relying on Asian sweat-shops to make their goods? Hardly ethical.
Banks? We've all grown to love bankers in recent years.
Once you start down this road it's a slippery slope. I hope the council is 100% that what it does is legal.
I trust the council will be taking the same holier-than-thou approach to firms which sell alcohol and tobacco. While we're at it, let's penalise companies which sell cakes and chocolates - very unhealthy! Chance of addiction to prescription painkillers? That's chemists out, then. Travel agents offering adults-only holidays? That's adult entertainment, so no grant. How about clothes companies relying on Asian sweat-shops to make their goods? Hardly ethical. Banks? We've all grown to love bankers in recent years. Once you start down this road it's a slippery slope. I hope the council is 100% that what it does is legal. Casper
  • Score: 3

2:43pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Walter Devereux says...

Censorship is wrong. It is arbitrary, opaque and contrary to freedom of expression. If either the council or an ISP starts censoring then they leave themselves open to litigation. At the moment as all traffic is treated equally and no-one gets a higher priority or blocked altogether the carrier is not liable. Once they start deciding these things then they are liable for them.
Censorship is wrong. It is arbitrary, opaque and contrary to freedom of expression. If either the council or an ISP starts censoring then they leave themselves open to litigation. At the moment as all traffic is treated equally and no-one gets a higher priority or blocked altogether the carrier is not liable. Once they start deciding these things then they are liable for them. Walter Devereux
  • Score: 0

10:57pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Jer Trihouse says...

Big MAMA is protecting us? Kentucky Fried Chicken when abused, could kill me. Pizza hut? Wheh! Heart attack...
Big MAMA is protecting us? Kentucky Fried Chicken when abused, could kill me. Pizza hut? Wheh! Heart attack... Jer Trihouse
  • Score: 0

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