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This motion will be submitted to the next meeting of Tower Hamlets council on November 27.

Dealing with the cost of credit

Proposer: Cllr Anwar Khan

Seconder: Cllr Rachael Saunders

This Council notes:

–       The UK-wide campaign to end ‘legal loan sharking’.

–       The outrageous interest rates charged by some pay day lenders

–       The way in which these loans trap people in spirals of unmanageable debt.

–       That as Christmas approaches these companies will seek to use public advertising to target people in our borough who are struggling to make ends meet.

–       That unaffordable credit is extracting wealth from the most deprived communities.

This Council believes:

–       That the lack of access to affordable credit is socially and economically damaging.

–       Unaffordable credit is causing a myriad of unwanted effects such as poorer diets, colder homes, rent, council tax and utility arrears, depression and poor physical and mental health.

–       That there is a need for better regulation of the payday lending sector, including a cap of the total cost of credit.

–       That until such regulation is introduced Tower Hamlets Council should work with partners to do all it can to protect people from usurious lending.

This Council Resolves:

–       That payday loan firms should be banned from setting up businesses in commercial property owned by the local authority. 

–       That pay day loan firms should be banned from advertising in property owned by the council.

–       That payday loan firms should be banned from advertising in Council publications or on Council owned advertising boards, from all public computers.

–       To promote credit unions in Tower Hamlets as community based organisations offering access to affordable credit and promoting saving.

–       To work with school, community organisations, housing providers, faith organisations and  providers of debt and money management advice to ensure that every resident of Tower Hamlets has access to financial advice and support.

–       That the Council writes to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Sir Peter Hendy (Commissioner of Transport for London) and Vernon Everitt (Managing Director, Customer Experience, Marketing and Communications) informing them of the Council’s decision to ban payday loan advertising in the borough and asking them to consider amending the TfL Advertising Policy to include a similar ban on all London public transport.

–       Instructs the Corporate Director, CLC, to report in writing to the next full Council meeting, the steps the Council or Mayor could take to limit the proliferation and impact of high street credit outlets in the borough.

–       To call on the government to introduce caps on the total lending rates that can be charged for providing credit.

–       To call on the government to give local authorities the power to veto licences for high street credit agencies where they could have negative economic or social impacts on communities.

–       To request the Heads of Planning and Licensing to report to the next Council meeting on ways in which officers can use powers at their disposal to ensure that the Council is doing all it can to prevent the promotion, publicity or opening of payday loan outlets or providers.

 

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