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Ipswich: Visitors to the Big Multicultural Festival in Alexandra Park on August 31 will be asked how they think money seized from loan sharks should be spent

10:40 18 August 2014

Last year's Multicultural Festival

Last year's Multicultural Festival


Visitors to the Big Multicultural Festival in Ipswich at the end of the month will get a chance to say where money taken from illegal moneylenders should be spent.

Seven local projects have the opportunity to bid for up to £1,000 each to help them get the message across that people should avoid using loan sharks.

They will each have a display at the borough council stand and visitors will be able to vote for which is most worthy of getting the help.

Up to six will get the help thanks to £4,000 seized from loan sharks by the England Illegal Money Lending Team, part of the national Trading Standards organisation. This has been topped up by a further £2,000 from Suffolk County Council.

The seven groups bidding for support include Easter Savings and Loans credit union, charities working with minority ethnic groups, and those working with young people to teach them how to budget effectively.

Andrew Reid, from the county council, said: “The Proceeds of Crime Act is a piece of legislation which helps tackle criminals by hitting them where it hurts – by taking away not only their money, but also items such as their car or even their house.

“I am pleased community groups are able to bid for this money and that the funds are going to where it is needed, with residents deciding what they would like the money used for.”

Ipswich mayor Bill Quinton said: “Ipswich Borough Council recognises the threat that loan sharks pose to the local community and continues to support counter initiatives that raise awareness of the risks of dealing with illegal money lenders. This competition will help allow local groups to work with the community to reduce risk and improve money skills, and put illegally gained money back into the community in a positive way.”

It has been confirmed two acclaimed British Asian artists will be at the festival on August 31. RAXSTAR and TaZzZ will perform live at the event in Alexandra Park, where there will also be music and dance from countries including Britain, Bangladesh, Poland, India, China, and South Africa.


  • I don't think this is the right event to ask at. Bar far the largest group who are victims of loan sharks are poor British people living on benefits. Other cultures tend to have stronger family networks for financial support and do not believe in usury. I think the people that have been victims of illegal lenders should be the ones that are asked.

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    Sentinel Red

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • EASTER savings and loan????? Come on Mr geator, get your facts right and please make an effort to do the right thing for the EASTERN savings and loan credit union.

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    grumpy old git

    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • You don't need an event like this just walk up norwich road it's like another country

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    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

  • i need another car.

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    Monday, August 18, 2014

  • Mike and Alex, the festival is one place to canvass opinion, but opinions should be sought from a sample that reflects the population of Ipswich. A festival like this one, attractive and enjoyable as it is, is unlikely to provide a representative sample of the population of Ipswich.

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    Monday, August 18, 2014

  • Indeed Alex and I too attend this event. As the name implies it is "multi" cultural event and all are welcome however like the point you raise, I would like to know if this is the ONLY place that views will be sought as to how the money is distributed as I know the audience at these events (which I attend) is NOT a representation of Ipswich as a whole. I hope that clarifies where I too am coming from.

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    Mike Hunt

    Monday, August 18, 2014

  • Re Mike Hunt I am British I always go to this event. Multi Cultural includes British.surely? Great food not all to everyones taste.). information stands...etc... Good days entertainment. All persons can be asked about ways reclaimed money can be used. Anyone know if this is the only place that people are being asked?

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    Alex Prowse

    Monday, August 18, 2014

  • By asking visitors to the multi-cultural festival i wonder if the council are indicating that they shall be awarding this money to multi-cultural and minority ethnic groups. I would have thought a display in the town hall would have meant a more neutral and representative audience was asked their views as to where the money should eventually be spent. Of course i could be wrong but by emphasising that this request is being made at an event targeting minority groups it certainly gives that impression.

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    Mike Hunt

    Monday, August 18, 2014

  • "It has been confirmed two acclaimed British Asian artists will be at the festival on August 31. RAXSTAR and TaZzZ will perform live at the event in Alexandra Park..." I just googled these "acclaimed artists" I'd never heard of. They're both rappers. Well, thanks for the warning, anyway.

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    Monday, August 18, 2014

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