Payday loan websites could be blocked at all Kent libraries as Kent County Council investigates concerns about huge interest rates
Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Trudy Dean
Access to payday loan websites could be blocked in Kent's libraries and billboard advertising might be banned from hoardings and other sites such as roundabouts.
Kent County Council is to investigate what steps it can take to limit access to the services provided by such companies amid concerns about the huge interest they often charge.
Opposition Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Trudy Dean has called on the council to examine what it could do.
Cllr Dean said: "The current financial situation for a lot of people is very challenging and the evidence seems to be that many more are having to resort to payday loan companies, but do not understand the huge interest they charge.
"The county council needs to do more to limit the amount they can advertise and do much more to promote the help offered by credit unions, which I do not think we do enough."
She also called on district and borough councils to examine a ban on billboards and bus shelters.
Kent County Council will also investigate if there could be a ban on advertising on hoardings on property it owns.
Laptop computer user. Library picture
KCC leader Paul Carter said he had enormous sympathy with the call and has agreed for a report into the issue.
"This is an area that needs careful consideration. I would be more than happy to request a report exploring a range of options."
KCC is following in the footsteps of several other authorities, including Medway, but the Advertising Association has warned a ban could set a dangerous precedent.
Chief executive Tim Lefroy said: "Payday loans have no shortage of critics but advertising is covered by two highly competent, well-respected regulators. These moves [by councils] would set a dangerous precedent. Outdoor advertising contracts represents millions of pounds invested in councils."
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