Councillors are debating a motion next Wednesday that would set the ball rolling. If they agree to it, officers will produce a report for the council’s decision-making executive board looking into “the possibility of working with city partners to restrict the advertising of high interest or payday lenders in public spaces – for example, on billboards and in bus stops”.
The motion’s being proposed by Leeds City Council leader Keith Wakefield, so it will get the backing of the Labour majority in the chamber.
Leeds is one of six Yorkshire councils that announced last week that they had joined forces to block the websites of all known payday lenders from council computer terminals.
Wednesday’s motion also instructs chief executive Tom Riordan to write to the Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs to lobby Government to:
* look again at introducing a cap on interest rates charged by high cost, short-term lenders
* introduce restrictions around the practice of ‘rolling over’ loans …
* and re-designate such lenders within the Town and Country Planning Act so as to require planning permission to be granted before certain establishments can be converted into pay day or high interest loan shops.
You can watch the debate on the issue live on Wednesday afternoon on the internet by going to this link. It won’t happen till towards the end of the session.