Anti-loan shark team could stay here for longer

Bicester Advertiser: Oxfordshire County Council will decide whether a team from Birmingham City Council can continue loan shark investigations in the county Oxfordshire County Council will decide whether a team from Birmingham City Council can continue loan shark investigations in the county

A DECISION will be made on Monday on whether Birmingham City Council should continue investigating illegal money lenders in Oxfordshire.

Louise Chapman, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for policy coordination, will be asked to decide whether to extend Birmingham’s authorisation to operate in the county.

In the time it has operated in Oxfordshire, one report of a loan shark has led to enforcement action.

In a report, Richard Webb, trading standards and community safety manager at the county council, said: “The benefit that this team can bring to Oxfordshire is significant.

“Oxfordshire Trading Standards Service, like most local authorities, is not able to provide the level of specialist resource to deliver this function.

“This is an excellent example of how sharing resources on specific issues can bring benefits that would otherwise be unavailable to provide support to vulnerable consumers and to tackle illegal activity.”

The team is wholly funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

It works across the South East and as far north as Yorkshire and the Humber.

A decision to extend Birmingham’s authority to operate in Oxfordshire until 2017 will be made at a meeting in County Hall on Monday at noon.

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