Bolton Council rejects payday loan firm from Newport Street

The Bolton News: The former Varanni shoe shop in Newport Street The former Varanni shoe shop in Newport Street

A PAYDAY loan company has been told it cannot open a shop in one of Bolton’s busiest streets.

Planning bosses have rejected Oakam Money’s application to set up shop in Newport Street.

The company, which offers short-term loans with interest rates of 676.6 per cent, wanted to open in the former Varanni shoe shop.

Poverty campaigners have welcomed the decision.

Cllr Kate Lewis, the council’s lead member on anti-poverty, said: “This is really positive news for our town centre.

“The last thing we need in Bolton is another high-cost pay day lender or pay weekly store on Newport Street.”

Planning officers said the application to change the shop from a retail space to one providing financial and professional services would have meant more than a quarter of Newport Street was being used for non-retail purposes, which “would pose an unacceptable risk to the vitality and viability of Bolton town centre”.

David Crausby, MP for Bolton North East, who has campaigned against payday loan companies, said: “We need proper, decent businesses that serve Bolton in the way they used to and attract people into the town centre.

“We want variety, not more of the same. It is in the best interest of the people of Bolton to use the credit union rather than payday loan companies.”


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David Batten, manager of Hoot Credit Union, added: “I’m glad the council are taking the problem of high-cost payday lending seriously and I know they are working with partners to provide easier affordable lending.”

Oakam Money operates in the Midlands and London but is reviewing potential locations across the country.

Its website says it offers “straightforward and simple financial services for people who might find it difficult to borrow from banks”.

Oakam Money has 230 staff, who speak more than 27 languages.

The website added: “We offer responsible access to affordable credit and are dedicated to serving our customers respectfully and in their language.”

Oakam’s head of marketing, Katharina Ströh, was unable to comment on whether the firm would appeal against the decision.

Cllr Andy Morgan, who sits on Bolton Council’s planning committee, said: “Every application is looked at on its own merits.

“This is about the proliferation of these types of shops. There are so many of them now. We had the same policy for takeaways. If there are too many and it’s detrimental to the public, then we have to consider the application very carefully.

“These shops generally serve the most vulnerable people in our town — people in desperate need — and if there are more of these shops then it makes it easy for them to access.

“What I would say to people who are in need of credit is to approach the credit union Bolton Hoot, the town’s own responsible lender.

“What is it we want in our town? We need a good retail offer which puts money back into the local economy — not these companies which take money out.”

Bolton Council has offered grants to encourage businesses back into the town centre, but this does not apply to takeaways, pound shops or bookmakers.

Businesses have been able to apply for two levels of grant — either £20,000 and below, or for bigger grants of more than £20,000.

The one-off £1.5 million will come from a funding pot set aside by the council for improvements to the town centre.

And Town Hall chiefs will plough £1 million into improving Newport Street.

It will be revamped to make it a more “welcoming” pedestrian route into the town centre, with work due to start in autumn and due for completion in early 2015.

It is hoped it will become a “European-style” boulevard.

Comments (14)

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2:04pm Tue 4 Feb 14

getajob123 says...

yet we let asons open up the biggest ambulance chasing setup in the UK right on our doorstep............
. i guess they forgot to bribe whoever makes the decisions.
yet we let asons open up the biggest ambulance chasing setup in the UK right on our doorstep............ . i guess they forgot to bribe whoever makes the decisions. getajob123
  • Score: 44

2:27pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Darren1951 says...

getajob123 wrote:
yet we let asons open up the biggest ambulance chasing setup in the UK right on our doorstep............ . i guess they forgot to bribe whoever makes the decisions.
asons? Are they related to Klingons in any way?
[quote][p][bold]getajob123[/bold] wrote: yet we let asons open up the biggest ambulance chasing setup in the UK right on our doorstep............ . i guess they forgot to bribe whoever makes the decisions.[/p][/quote]asons? Are they related to Klingons in any way? Darren1951
  • Score: 5

4:02pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Balboa says...

I thought we lived in a democracy. The folk of Bolton could choose to use this firm's services, or not to use them. The decision to prevent folk making a choice is akin to the Nanny state policy of Brown/Blair and prevents freedom of expression. However distasteful these lenders are.
I thought we lived in a democracy. The folk of Bolton could choose to use this firm's services, or not to use them. The decision to prevent folk making a choice is akin to the Nanny state policy of Brown/Blair and prevents freedom of expression. However distasteful these lenders are. Balboa
  • Score: 3

5:15pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Wolfie190 says...

Good on the planning dept for a change.
Good on the planning dept for a change. Wolfie190
  • Score: 34

5:28pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Bowden Boy says...

Nice one Darren1951.
Going where no one has gone before.
Nice one Darren1951. Going where no one has gone before. Bowden Boy
  • Score: -3

5:49pm Tue 4 Feb 14

JustBecause says...

Balboa wrote:
I thought we lived in a democracy. The folk of Bolton could choose to use this firm's services, or not to use them. The decision to prevent folk making a choice is akin to the Nanny state policy of Brown/Blair and prevents freedom of expression. However distasteful these lenders are.
Quite right, this council are as thick a pig ****. Another empty shop, when will they understand the high street is dead.
[quote][p][bold]Balboa[/bold] wrote: I thought we lived in a democracy. The folk of Bolton could choose to use this firm's services, or not to use them. The decision to prevent folk making a choice is akin to the Nanny state policy of Brown/Blair and prevents freedom of expression. However distasteful these lenders are.[/p][/quote]Quite right, this council are as thick a pig ****. Another empty shop, when will they understand the high street is dead. JustBecause
  • Score: -21

6:41pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Igor biscan63 says...

"European style" boulevard ........?
Really?
"European style" boulevard ........? Really? Igor biscan63
  • Score: 18

6:58pm Tue 4 Feb 14

thomas222 says...

Is there a Election coming up by any chance ?
Is there a Election coming up by any chance ? thomas222
  • Score: 0

7:51pm Tue 4 Feb 14

HOOSIER says...

JustBecause wrote:
Balboa wrote:
I thought we lived in a democracy. The folk of Bolton could choose to use this firm's services, or not to use them. The decision to prevent folk making a choice is akin to the Nanny state policy of Brown/Blair and prevents freedom of expression. However distasteful these lenders are.
Quite right, this council are as thick a pig ****. Another empty shop, when will they understand the high street is dead.
So your quite happy to see the shop being used for someone who is desperate for cash being ripped of with 600+ %apr ?
I think the council have got it right this time. Is there any need for another payday loan shop ? Theres one just round the corner in walking distance and there are 3 pawn shops within walking distance that I can think of !
So if you cool at people being ripped off to the tune of 600+ % apr give me a shout when you need a loan.
[quote][p][bold]JustBecause[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Balboa[/bold] wrote: I thought we lived in a democracy. The folk of Bolton could choose to use this firm's services, or not to use them. The decision to prevent folk making a choice is akin to the Nanny state policy of Brown/Blair and prevents freedom of expression. However distasteful these lenders are.[/p][/quote]Quite right, this council are as thick a pig ****. Another empty shop, when will they understand the high street is dead.[/p][/quote]So your quite happy to see the shop being used for someone who is desperate for cash being ripped of with 600+ %apr ? I think the council have got it right this time. Is there any need for another payday loan shop ? Theres one just round the corner in walking distance and there are 3 pawn shops within walking distance that I can think of ! So if you cool at people being ripped off to the tune of 600+ % apr give me a shout when you need a loan. HOOSIER
  • Score: 26

9:11am Wed 5 Feb 14

stereo_world says...

Igor biscan63 wrote:
"European style" boulevard ........?
Really?
I think by European, they mean post-war Berlin.
[quote][p][bold]Igor biscan63[/bold] wrote: "European style" boulevard ........? Really?[/p][/quote]I think by European, they mean post-war Berlin. stereo_world
  • Score: 4

9:14am Wed 5 Feb 14

Balboa says...

HOOSIER wrote:
JustBecause wrote:
Balboa wrote:
I thought we lived in a democracy. The folk of Bolton could choose to use this firm's services, or not to use them. The decision to prevent folk making a choice is akin to the Nanny state policy of Brown/Blair and prevents freedom of expression. However distasteful these lenders are.
Quite right, this council are as thick a pig ****. Another empty shop, when will they understand the high street is dead.
So your quite happy to see the shop being used for someone who is desperate for cash being ripped of with 600+ %apr ?
I think the council have got it right this time. Is there any need for another payday loan shop ? Theres one just round the corner in walking distance and there are 3 pawn shops within walking distance that I can think of !
So if you cool at people being ripped off to the tune of 600+ % apr give me a shout when you need a loan.
Hoosier, my point was that although these lenders are legalised sharks, the Council has interfered and has prevented the public from making their own decisions. The other lenders you refer to will be rubbing their hands and just watch their own interest rates rise.

Unfortunately, the lack of competition will drive people to be paying even higher rates now which is hardly helpful.
[quote][p][bold]HOOSIER[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JustBecause[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Balboa[/bold] wrote: I thought we lived in a democracy. The folk of Bolton could choose to use this firm's services, or not to use them. The decision to prevent folk making a choice is akin to the Nanny state policy of Brown/Blair and prevents freedom of expression. However distasteful these lenders are.[/p][/quote]Quite right, this council are as thick a pig ****. Another empty shop, when will they understand the high street is dead.[/p][/quote]So your quite happy to see the shop being used for someone who is desperate for cash being ripped of with 600+ %apr ? I think the council have got it right this time. Is there any need for another payday loan shop ? Theres one just round the corner in walking distance and there are 3 pawn shops within walking distance that I can think of ! So if you cool at people being ripped off to the tune of 600+ % apr give me a shout when you need a loan.[/p][/quote]Hoosier, my point was that although these lenders are legalised sharks, the Council has interfered and has prevented the public from making their own decisions. The other lenders you refer to will be rubbing their hands and just watch their own interest rates rise. Unfortunately, the lack of competition will drive people to be paying even higher rates now which is hardly helpful. Balboa
  • Score: -3

11:06am Wed 5 Feb 14

gigglebox3 says...

if Bolton's credit Union - HOOT - was open longer hours and on a Saturday, it might make more people use the service! save, low cost loans and be able to buy low cost electrical goods.
if Bolton's credit Union - HOOT - was open longer hours and on a Saturday, it might make more people use the service! save, low cost loans and be able to buy low cost electrical goods. gigglebox3
  • Score: 2

5:03pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Coleygiz says...

They say they don't want more of the same on one road. I agree with them but it's a shame they didn't apply the same policy to Bradshawgate with all the take-aways
They say they don't want more of the same on one road. I agree with them but it's a shame they didn't apply the same policy to Bradshawgate with all the take-aways Coleygiz
  • Score: 2

9:47pm Thu 6 Feb 14

JustBecause says...

HOOSIER wrote:
JustBecause wrote:
Balboa wrote:
I thought we lived in a democracy. The folk of Bolton could choose to use this firm's services, or not to use them. The decision to prevent folk making a choice is akin to the Nanny state policy of Brown/Blair and prevents freedom of expression. However distasteful these lenders are.
Quite right, this council are as thick a pig ****. Another empty shop, when will they understand the high street is dead.
So your quite happy to see the shop being used for someone who is desperate for cash being ripped of with 600+ %apr ?
I think the council have got it right this time. Is there any need for another payday loan shop ? Theres one just round the corner in walking distance and there are 3 pawn shops within walking distance that I can think of !
So if you cool at people being ripped off to the tune of 600+ % apr give me a shout when you need a loan.
If people are stupid enough, then so be it, who am I to tell them otherwise.
[quote][p][bold]HOOSIER[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JustBecause[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Balboa[/bold] wrote: I thought we lived in a democracy. The folk of Bolton could choose to use this firm's services, or not to use them. The decision to prevent folk making a choice is akin to the Nanny state policy of Brown/Blair and prevents freedom of expression. However distasteful these lenders are.[/p][/quote]Quite right, this council are as thick a pig ****. Another empty shop, when will they understand the high street is dead.[/p][/quote]So your quite happy to see the shop being used for someone who is desperate for cash being ripped of with 600+ %apr ? I think the council have got it right this time. Is there any need for another payday loan shop ? Theres one just round the corner in walking distance and there are 3 pawn shops within walking distance that I can think of ! So if you cool at people being ripped off to the tune of 600+ % apr give me a shout when you need a loan.[/p][/quote]If people are stupid enough, then so be it, who am I to tell them otherwise. JustBecause
  • Score: 0

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