Monday, 6 February 2012

High Street Firsts-support locals powers to restrict the number of bookies on our High Streets

A new campaign has been started for a change in the law to give local communities a say over the number of betting shops in their area.

High Street firsts has been set up by Rowenna Davis a councillor in London but could well apply to our high streets nationwide.

At the moment writes Rowenna,betting shops are classified the same as banks, job centres and estate agents, which means that local councils don’t have any meaningful power to object to bookies opening up as many branches as they like adding that in some of the poorest areas, betting shops are now more common than post offices, book shops and green grocers.

They can be magnets for anti social behaviour and problem gambling. Communities should be allowed to limit them if they think the costs outweigh the benefits.

Go to certain streets around Manchester and I would totally agree.Church Street in Newton Heath,not exactly filled with a great quality of shops has three.

Currently bookmakers have it frighteningly easy says the campaign. They can open up in the same premises as a bank, estate agent, job centre or restaurant without a change in planning permission.

In her review into British high streets, Mary Portas recommended changing the "use class" of bookies, giving local councils the chance to limit the growth of new outlets.

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