Week long campaign will target loan sharks and help raise awareness of the perils of illegal money lending in the run up to Christmas.

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A CAMPAIGN by Torridge District Council against loan sharks saw one councillor playing a very special role.

Cllr Brian Redwood dressed as a shark for the day travelling around the district to raise awareness of the perils of such borrowing, and the help available.

The week-long event, starting Monday, is being run by the council in conjunction with the ‘Stop Loan Sharks’ Trading Standards team and Tarka and Sanctuary Housing.

The loan shark team will be knocking on doors, organising leaflet drops and holding training sessions.

“I know the illegal money lending team wants to get a message to rural areas and communities, so that’s why we’re going out and about to all areas in Torridge,” said Cllr Redwood.

There will also be a stand at the Holsworthy Livestock Market on November 28 and at the special Welfare Reform Event organised by Councillor Pauline Davies at the Pollyfield centre in Bideford on November 30 from 9am-12pm.

Councillor Davies said: “With the changes to benefits being brought in next April, issues like this will affect more and more people.

“The Pollyfield event is a chance for local residents to talk face to face to the loan shark team as well as staff from benefits, housing, the department for work and pensions, Tarka Housing, Barnstaple Poverty Action Group and Westcountry Housing.”

Anyone who has been approached by a loan shark or wishes to seek help and advice for financial difficulties can call the Stop Loan Sharks helpline in confidence on 0300 555 2222.

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