London,
17
May
2009
|
00:00
Europe/London

Scrutiny of the spread of betting shops

RESIDENTS are being invited to attend a meeting to investigate the spread of betting shops in the borough.

At a special meeting on this issue at the Town Hall on 11 June, residents are being invited to put their views forward to the borough’s Community Safety and Social Inclusion Scrutiny Commission.

There are more than 60 bookmakers in Hackney, which is over three times the local authority average - if you are affected by the opening of new betting shops on your street, or if you are an operator or regular customer of betting shops, the Commission would like to hear from you.

Currently, licensing and planning regulations do not leave much scope to take account of concern from local residents, elected members, or the Council when new betting shops seek to open up.

Cllr Deniz Oguzkanli, Chair of the Community Safety and Social Inclusion Scrutiny Commission, said: “We are responding to residents’ concerns that a concentrated increase in betting shops can have a detrimental effect on local communities and dominate the character of certain streets. I urge residents to take part, either by written submission or at the meeting.”

The Council wrote to the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport last year to highlight the fact that the Gambling Act 2005 gives local authorities no defence against unreasonable proliferation of betting shops.

Scrutiny Commissions are made up of Councillors from all political parties who investigate issues of local concern. Reviews are evidence-based and non-political.

The Community Safety and Social Inclusion Scrutiny Commission considers issues including crime and safety, community development, social inclusion, the voluntary sector and lifelong learning.

The meeting begins at 7pm - to attend, or make a written submission, please contact Jarlath O’Connell at jarlath.oconnell@hackney.gov.uk or calling 020 8356 3309.