Payday loan websites have been blocked on Camden's IT network to protect vulnerable residents
PUBLISHED: 11:00 04 July 2013
Access to the websites of pay day loan companies has been blocked on all council-run IT networks in Camden following a similar initiative rolled-out in Haringey last week.
In addition to banning pay day sites from public computers in libraries and council buildings, town hall bosses have been able to go one step further and extend the initiative across its recently launched free Wi-Fi network available to residents on their mobiles and laptops.
Labour councillor for Highgate, Sally Gimson, who called for the ban, said the local authority had a duty to protect vulnerable residents tempted by instant loans which charge interest rates of up to 4,000 per cent.
She said: “Payday loan companies pray on the poor who have to take out these loans and we need to do something about it.
“As a council, what we can do is block access to the sites and at Camden we can do it across the board because of our free Wi-Fi service.”
The initiative has been backed by Camden Council’s finance chief Cllr Theo Blackwell, who said dozens of the top pay day websites were blocked on corporate, public and council’s wireless network as of Monday afternoon.
The local authority launched its free WiFi service in May which allows 30 minutes of free wireless internet every day.