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Access to payday loan websites to be blocked at libraries

Cheshire East have become the first local authority in England to take the step

Access to the websites of payday loan firms is to be blocked on public computers at libraries in the borough.

Cheshire East is to restrict access to the lenders' sites from public computers at all council buildings, including libraries.

They have become the first authority in England to take the step, and only the third in the UK to do so.

The council's cabinet voted unanimously in favour of the idea at their meeting at Macclesfield town hall yesterday.

A report by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) revealed ‘widespread irresponsible lending’ in the market with the 50 biggest firms being given 12 weeks to change their practices or risk losing their licence.

Whilst the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) claims the industry has spiralled ‘out of control’.

Councillor David Brown, the council's Deputy Leader said said: “We have taken this action after complaints that payday loan companies are charging ridiculous rates of interest.

“We have received reports from the CAB that they are advising people under the age of 18 who have been given loans and some who may have been intoxicated when they took out a loan.

"This is causing serious domestic problems.

“I am hearing that one company is charging 5,863 per cent interest on loans. This is astronomical.

"It is all well and good if the person can pay the loan back in two weeks but if they go a day over they are subject to this rate."However, Tytherington and Bollinbrook councillor Brendan Murphy said the council shouldn't be taking moral decisions on behalf of residents.

He said:"There are many other objectionable sites out there.

"Where do you draw the line?"
 

 

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