INTERVIEW: Swanscombe's new councillor reveals financial nightmare of payday lenders (From News Shopper)
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INTERVIEW: Swanscombe's new councillor reveals financial nightmare of payday lenders
SWANSCOMBE’s new councillor has revealed to News Shopper how she wants to help people struggling with payday loans after her own financial nightmare.
Labour’s Steve Doran, won the seat earlier this month by a single vote, pushing Swanscombe and Greenhithe Residents Association candidate Vic Openshaw into second place.
The 27-year-old has campaigned extensively about reforming payday loan companies’ policies after battling with one for 18 months.
She said: "I took a high rate loan out just because I was struggling to get by in 2010 and because I’m on a low income, I struggled to pay it back at the end of the month.
"This meant I took another loan out to keep up with the interest which continued for 18 months.
"A lot of it is about standing up and saying ‘this happened to me’ because there is a strong stigma attached to it and an assumption about the type of person taking out a payday loan.
"Some of our recommendations I've campaigned for through Sharkstopper (Labour party pressure group) have been made law and if this legislation had been around in 2010 I wouldn’t have struggled in this way."
Councillor Doran originally trained to be a journalist after thinking politics was not for her.
She said: "I did my undergrad degree at Nottingham and then an MA in Broadcast Journalism at Nottingham Trent. I soon realised though I wanted to be making news rather than reporting on it.
"I always thought politics wasn’t for someone like me – my mum is a hospital housekeeper (check) and my dad works on a building site.
"My local Labour party has been really good about my lack of money and is supporting working class people into politics – for example, I don’t have a car so they pick me up for meetings."
Cllr Doran now works with older people and believes it has provided good experience for her councillor-role.
She said: "I work in a residential care as an activities coordinator for people with dementia and nursing needs.
"It’s wonderful – every day is different and I come away knowing I’ve changed someone’s life for the better.
"In many ways it’s like being a councillor because you’re going to a situation you’ve never seen before and you need to think ‘how can I fix this for you’."
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