Newcastle City Council has become one of the first in the country to block access to the websites of payday loans companies via its own computer system. The council is also planning to try to stop the lenders advertising on some billboards in the city.
However, not everyone is against the loans companies - a survey by uSwitch found half of people who had taken out a payday loan found it a positive experience.
Gregg Easteal reports.
Newcastle City Council has blocked access to payday loans websites from any computer in its network.
The leader of the council, Cllr Nick Forbes, said the move was necessary because the number of the city's residents struggling with high debts was going up and up.
Newcastle City Council has blocked access to the websites of payday loans companies across its entire computer network, including offices, libraries and council-owned community centres. It is also looking at how to prevent them advertising on some billboards in the city.
However, a survey published by uSwitch found 50% of people who had taken out a payday loan found it a positive experience. Almost a third would take out another loan.
Councillor Mick Henry of Gateshead spoke to Ian about what the council's announcement - that it is combining with six other authorities across the region - will mean for the North East.
Councils in the North East have voted to form a new Combined Authority, that would gain more powers and funding from central government.
The seven local authorities, from Northumberland to Durham, will establish the new Authority, to make decisions jointly in areas from public transport to training for young people.
Watch the full report from Lucy Taylor below.
Newcastle is set to be named a City of Sanctuary this week. City of Sanctuary is a movement which aims to build a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary in the UK. The goal is to create a network of towns and cities throughout the country which are proud to be places of safety.
Sheffield became the first City of Sanctuary in 2007, Swansea followed in 2010, now Newcastle is set to become the third City to officially adopt the title. Community groups and support services approached Newcastle City Council last year about becoming a City of Sanctuary.
After a year of hard work community groups and support services feel the level of service offered to asylum seekers in Newcastle is of a standard expected of a City of Sanctuary. The council's cabinet will be asked to approve the status on Wednesday.
By approving the status the council will be promising to support and help community and voluntary organisations and recognising the positive contribution migrants make to life in Newcastle.
Musa Hassan Ali came to Newcastle as an asylum seeker from Rwanda 11 years ago. He intended to move on but found the welcome in Newcastle so supportive he made the city his home. He says it is the only place he's truly felt safe in his life.
Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes has been talking to ITV News about how the council is marking International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.
The councillor said he was proud of the steps forward that the region had made in tackling discrimination.
Phillipa Scrafton also spoke to us about how important it was to educate people about the issues surrounding discrimination.
Newcastle City Council has a raised a rainbow flag above its civic centre to mark International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.
The council is just one of three around the country which is led by an openly gay councillor, Councillor Nick Forbes.
Newcastle City Council is marking International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.
A rainbow flag has been raised over the civic centre in Newcastle this lunchtime to support the day that fights against the discrimination of the transgender community.
We have all seen pictures of people who drink too much on nights out and end up causing problems.
Cities like Newcastle are famous for their nightlife, but the council is concerned about the high levels of drinking.
Newcastle City Council is asking bars and clubs to stop selling very cheap drinks and giving away alcohol on very cheap promotions.
It has also announced that it will not be letting new nightclubs stay open later than 2am.
Our reporter Lucy Taylor joined Pam and Ian in the studio to explain more.