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More Help for Victims of Loan Sharks - threatened project set to expand!

After being threatened with the loss of its funding next March, a pilot project set up in Birmingham to help people in the West Midlands area who are the victims of illegal money lenders and loan sharks will now be expanded.

Pointing out that the project team has helped over 1000 victims and that over £2m of debt has been wiped out, I lobbied the responsible minister, Alistair Darling, urging him not only to renew funding for the project but also to expand and build upon the Birmingham project team’s spectacular successes, expertise and experience.  The team has brought new business to the Kings Heath credit union, increasing its turnover by 25% and the evidence they have collected has resulted in 12 guns being taken off the streets, the conviction of ‘lifestyle’ criminals and the recovery of many hundreds of thousands of pounds of the proceeds of their crimes.

I am therefore delighted that the Government listened to my arguments and, on December 1st,Treasury Minister Ed Balls visited the project to confirm funding the project for another year and to announce that the team will also be funded to expand its remit to Leeds, Sheffield and Liverpool.

A great success for Birmingham

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