Plaid Cymru has called on Wrexham Council to restrict access to ‘Payday Loan’ websites from public access computers, redirecting any traffic to the North Wales Credit Union website instead.
Such a move mirrors action taken in Dundee in the run up to Christmas however that was a direct block rather than a redirect.
Plaid Cymru’s Wrecsam Councillor, Arfon Jones has written to the Leader and Chief Executive of Wrecsam Council making the request saying “If we can reduce the use of payday loans in Wrecsam we increase disposable income which hopefully will be spent locally, this is a win win situation.”
The suggestion is based around the council searching for payday loan websites and compiling a list of relevant sites, then adding them to a redirect if they are accessed from public computers eg. at the library.
Councillor Jones said, “The Payday loan industry has fallen foul of the Office of Fair Trading for unfair practises, exploitation and high interest rate. They exploit vulnerable people which is unacceptable and unethical. Council’s have a responsibility to the public they represent and we should do what we can to prevent these companies exploiting the public. We should block access on our computers and re-direct enquirers to websites like the North Wales Credit Union.”
Plaid Cymru’s prospective Parliamentary candidate for Wrecsam, Carrie Harper said, “I don’t understand why the Westminster Government don’t cap the total cost of loans, it is irresponsible to allow these unethical companies to charge what they like. There ‘s a weight of evidence to support regulation of the consumer credit market and if Westminster won’t do it we should demand that the power is devolved to Wales so that we can regulate and protect our communities.”
Other Council related blocks that have taken place include the BNP’s website being blocked in Denbighshire libraries and websites about Atheism were once blocked by Birmingham City Council. The Birmingham block was later found to include webpages that a third party software company categorised as witchcraft, the paranormal, sexual deviancy and criminal activity.
Do you think the Council should redirect web traffic, if so what sites should be included? This forum thread is open for your views – visit it by clicking here….
(Pictured: About £200, which if you wanted to loan it from one popular payday loan site for one month would mean repaying £269 – a representative APR of 5853% . )