The recession has taken a grim toll on high street retail chains with family favourites such as JBB Sports, Peacocks and my own favourite, Jane Norman, either closing or slimming down.  But other retails outlets are thriving.  Payday lenders, pawnbrokers and betting shops have proliferated, in some areas changing the look and feel of the high street. The rapid expansion of payday lenders is well documented.  For example, The Money Shop increased from 168 branches in 2006 to 450 in 2011. And people aren’t borrowing to pay for treats or extras.  Research by Unite found that 82% of employees surveyed said that they did not have sufficient money to get to the end of the month and 12% of these said that they had used payday lenders such as Wonga, Money Shop and Quick Quid to help them until they were next paid. In August, a Channel 4 Dispatches programme … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

Jennifer Tankard is director of advocacy and research at the Community Development Foundation and director of the Community Investment Coalition