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How does debt affect you?

New figures show that more people than ever are struggling with debt in the South West Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

How does debt affect you? New figures show that more people than ever are struggling with debt in the South West.

ITV West Country wants to know if this affects you! Do you struggle to manage your money? Or do you think its easy to stay on top of your bills?

Please comment on our Facebook page and don't forget to mention your location.

Rise in numbers of people struggling with debt

A fifth more people are struggling with debt than last year Credit: PA

The number of people struggling with debt in the South West is on the rise.

That's according to the charity StepChange, which says its helpline was contacted by more than 14,000 people in the region in 2014 - a rise of 20% since 2013.

On average, those contacting the charity were £11,000 in debt.


Multi-million pound growth deal signed for Swindon

Nick Clegg signs multi-million pound contract in Swindon Credit: ITV West Country

The Deputy Prime Minister has been in Swindon to sign a contract that will bring up to one thousand five hundred jobs to the area.

The growth deal will mean more than £129 million investment in the region. It will see 2000 homes being built by 2021. The plan also include new transport schemes and a science park at Porton Down.

Residents unhappy at being charged for their cash

A Bristol MP is calling for more 'free to use' cash machines in poorer communities. It follows a campaign in the Lockleaze area, where there is only one cash machine, which charges £1.85 for each withdrawal.

The nearest free ones are more than half a mile away, and residents say they're being ripped off.

Local MP Charlotte Leslie is calling on the banks and the government to help.

Richard Payne reports:

A spokesperson for the operator Cardtronics has told ITV News:

Only those cash machines that attract a large number of transactions are able to make enough money to cover operating costs such as maintenance and cash loading, without charging the consumer directly.

Where the ATM is in a convenience store - like this machine in Lockleaze - there is a significant additional operating cost in the shape of business rates, which local councils levy against ‘through-the-wall’ ATMs. In these cases ATM surcharges are used to ensure the machine remains in operation as the rates can amount to many thousands of pounds each year.

Cardtronics is in conversation with both Charlotte Leslie MP and Cllr. Gill Kirk to discuss this particular ATM site and the business rates issue, as well as additional viable options for new cash machines in the nearby area.

– Cardtronics spokesperson


Campaign for free cash withdrawals in less affluent parts of Bristol

The cash machine in Lockleaze charges £1.85 for withdrawals Credit: ITV News

A campaign is underway for free cash withdrawals in less well-off communities in Bristol.

North Bristol MP Charlotte Leslie says: "Despite numbering around 10,000 people, the residents of Lockleaze live in what is euphemistically called an “Outstanding Financial Inclusion Area” – that is, a place that is more than 1km away from the nearest free cash machine."

Lockleaze’s only ATM is in a shop on Gainsborough Square, which charges £1.85 for every cash withdrawal.

Charlotte Leslie says: "£1.85 is an inconvenience for anyone, but if you are on £72.40 jobseeker’s allowance that £1.85 a couple of times a week is a massive financial hit."

Campaign to get free cash machines in parts of Bristol

Campaigners say it's wrong that people in the poorest parts of Bristol are being charged to withdraw cash Credit: PA

There's a growing campaign to get cash machines which don't charge to withdraw money in some parts of Bristol.

It comes after a recent study found free-to-withdraw cashpoints rarely serve less affluent areas in the city.

The study highlighted Lockleaze as one of the city's blackspots where residents have to walk a considerable distance to withdraw their cash free of charge.

Local MP Charlotte Leslie says “Many people in Lockleaze are already struggling, it is utterly wrong that they should have to pay so much to access their own money. This needs to change.”

The only ATM in Lockleaze is on Gainsborough Square and charges £1.85 per withdrawal.

  1. Jonty Messer

Full report: 50 Gloucester Road traders in court

More than 50 traders on Gloucester Road in Bristol were summonsed to court today after failing to pay a business levy that was introduced earlier this year.

The Business Improvement District was started with the aim of raising money to attract more trade to the area. But some shop owners say they have been left confused about how to pay and what the money will be used for.

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