Cllr Matt Wright is a ConservativeHome regular and our candidate in the Vale of Clywd.
Every year the Government number crunches a set of socio-economic factors and comes up with a financial league table of wards. The Vale of Clwyd spans the full economic spectrum from grand mansions with long gravel drives to pockets of grinding poverty sadly unchanged for over a decade. As the economic malaise bites more people are feeling the pinch. The west ward of Rhyl has the unfortunate label of being the most deprived ward in Wales and one of the most deprived wards in Britain. On paper the figures look worrying, on the ground the human story can be worse.
Now there are many reasons for the problems experienced in such wards and the work facilitated by Iain Duncan-Smith and undertaken by the Centre for Social Justice has highlighted the issues and some of the solutions. What I would like to address is an issue that I believe casts a shadow on one of the key values we all share about our nation - a sense of fair play. We are all aware of the growth of debt and the pressures it has put on the majority of us. Yet too many are unaware of a much darker side to debt.
Some of the fastest growing and most profitable financial companies today are doorstep lenders. In this country they are entirely legal and yet morally they are barely one step from being described as "loan sharks". They swim in seas that are spreading wider than the most deprived wards and they prey on misery. Currently door step lenders can legally charge massive interest rates that would be illegal in other parts of the world except it seems under the current UK Govt of 2008.