THE town could be heading back to the Dickensian era was the warning from a councillor during a debate on pay day loan companies.

The comments came from Clr Linda Dirir (LAB - Penketh and Cuerdley) at a full council meeting last week during a debate on a motion about the pay day loans industry.

It came after councillors had also discussed another motion congratulating the start of the Warrington Foodbank.

She said: “It is as if we are stepping back in time to the Dickensian era. Dickens wrote about this in the 19th century.”

The proposer of the two motions, Clr Maureen McLaughlin (LAB – Latchford West), said: “When people come forward to give their time and resources for others it’s a cause for celebration.

“It’s no cause to celebrate when parents are forced to choose to heat their homes or feed their family.”

Conservative leader Clr Paul Kennedy (CON - Hatton, Walton and Stretton) added his support but questioned the Trussell Group’s vision of having food banks in every community saying the ideal should be no food banks are needed at all.

In the pay day loans motion the council called on the Government to push forward with plans to allow the Financial Conduct Authority to limit interest rates.

Lib Dem leader Clr Ian Marks (LD - Lymm) backed the motion too.

He said: “We are happy to go along with this motion and I am sure it would have the widespread support of the public. Lib Dems in Parliament have campaigned for controls on legal loan sharks and we’re delighted this is now going to happen.”

All councillors voted to support the two motions.