Town Hall apology for website link to payday loan company

Technicians blame 'opportunistic' move

Thursday, 3rd June 2021 — By Bronwen Weatherby

camden council 5 Pancras Square Image 2021-02-24 at 14.37.51 (5)

CAMDEN Council has apologised after its website was found to be linking to a payday loan company.

The council was told this week about the error on its Cindex pages – a public portal that provides information about over 4,000 services available in the borough.

It quickly corrected the link but the case has raised concerns about the impact such an oversight could have on vulnerable residents accessing the local authority’s website.

The link was supposed to take users to contact information and opening times for Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court.

But when clicked, people were sent TO an unsecured link to the homepage of a payday loan website called “Loans and Lending UK”.

The council’s IT technicians do not believe the website was hacked.

Instead they say the domain name that had previously belonged to the court was bought by the company in an “opportunistic fashion”.

A council spokesperson said its website is checked and maintained on a regular basis.

The New Journal understands, however, that the link was there for several weeks.

A spokesperson said: “We would like to apologise to any residents who may have encountered this incorrect URL. Once we became aware of the change in the ownership of the original URL we immediately changed it so that the new link shows information about Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court as it originally did.”

Any residents having difficulties managing money, debt or a change in circumstances can contact Camden on 020 7974 4444.

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