Issued by City of York Council
In a bid to protect residents from payday loans websites and the risks of spiralling debt from high interest providers, City of York Council has blocked these companies from its staff and public wi-fi and computers and is encouraging use of more reputable financial solutions.
Computers for customer use at all City of York Council libraries and Explore centres and at West Offices do not give access to payday lender sites, some of which charge exorbitant interest rates. In addition, the council’s extensive free wi-fi provision is blocking these sites at its libraries and West Offices, at Energise and in the city centre around St Helen’s Square and along Coney Street.
Instead, York’s libraries are going to support promoting of local credit unions which support savers and borrowers who have difficulty accessing high street banking options.
City of York Council’s latest addition to its cabinet, Cllr Linsay Cunningham-Cross with responsibility for Crime and Stronger Communities, said: “As part of our commitment to build stronger communities and to fight poverty, we want to signpost residents towards more reputable sources of financial support. The risks associated with escalating debt due to spiralling interest rates are too high.”
Cllr Dafydd Williams, Cabinet Member for Finance, Performance and Customer Service said: “As welfare reforms bite, people on the lowest incomes in York may be driven to payday lenders to pay their bills. Affordable forms of finance are not always easy for people with poor credit histories to access, so solutions such as the South Yorkshire Credit Union could make all the difference.”
In March, the council launched the free Small Changes booklet on how to manage money and make it go further. Published in association with York Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and Aviva, it includes tips on budgeting, ways to cut costs, savings and insurance essentials and hints on how to avoid getting into debt. Also, there are lots of ideas on how to enjoy life in York without having to spend too much money, including low cost family days out, free events and courses.
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