THE Labour group on Brighton and Hove City Council will call for the authority to ban residents from accessing payday loan websites via council computers.
In a motion due to be presented to the full council tonight councillor Chaun Wilson will call on the council to block access to websites like Wonga and instead divert residents using council computers to credit unions and other advice sites.
The call comes as concerns are raised that more families could be falling into debt through payday lenders, which can charge interest rates as high as 5,800%.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s meeting, Coun Wilson said: “Given that over 40 local authorities, both Labour and Conservative controlled, have already introduced such a ban, I see no reason why we should not do the same and I hope these proposals will pass with cross party support.”
But the Conservative Group have indicated they will not be supporting the motion with councillor Geoffrey Theobald saying that while payday loans are not generally a good choice, the council should not be in the business of denying residents access to websites “This is state censorship and would put us on a slippery slope to further breaches of freedom of expression,” he added.
The Green Party was unable to say whether it would support the motion.