Discussions over banning payday loan websites on Rugby Library computers

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Computer users at Rugby library could soon be barred from using payday loan websites.

Warwickshire County Council is considering blocking access to the likes of Wonga and Quickquid from the computers it owns. Some councillors fear they are driving poor people into debt and greater poverty.

In August alone, the authority registered 5,719 ‘hits’ on Wonga’s website from its public computers, which are placed in libraries, community centres and council offices around the county. A further 7,513 hits were recorded on other payday loan websites.

A report written by council official Tonino Ciuffini for the authority’s corporate services overview and scrutiny committee refers to councillors requesting a ban. It goes on to state: “ until now we have only really restricted access to sites that are, or potentially could be illegal. Payday loan companies and their sites are not illegal, and it raises the question of where do you draw the line once you have restricted access to a legal site.”

The committee is due to discuss the matter tomorrow (Wednesday).