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Payday loans campaigners to form new watch group

Patrick Hall and other guests at meeting over payday lending in Bedford.

Patrick Hall and other guests at meeting over payday lending in Bedford.

A watch group is to be launched in Bedford following a debate over payday loans.

A meeting of debt advice agencies and other organisations, arranged by Labour Parliamentary candidate Patrick Hall, has agreed to set up Bedford Payday Loans Watch Group to promote greater public awareness of the issues and lobby government.

The meeting, held at St Peter’s Church Chapter House, heard from Bedford Citizens’Advice Bureau service manager Dean Crofts.

He told of the serious difficulties many people get into with high cost, short term credit.

Contributors from Bedford Credit Union, Money Advice at St Andrew, the Bedfordshire Advice Forum and Project 229 in Kempston added to the 
exchange of useful information.

The Rev Mike Fudger welcomed visitors and the evening was rounded off by the Bishop of Bedford, the Rt Rev Richard Atkinson.

Mr Hall said he had learned a great deal from the debate and that changes must be made in the high cost credit industry.

He added: “The Citizens’ Advice Bureau has positive policies and if we in Bedford and Kempston can help to raise awareness and secure support frompeople, businesses and the borough council, that will help to make the case to Government that change is urgently needed.”

 

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