Hackney Council calls for support against blight of bookies
Photo by Ewan Munro
Hackney Council has launched a new phase in its campaign against the wave of betting shops blighting its high streets and cynically targeting its most vulnerable communities.
There are about 65 betting shops in Hackney, eight in Mare Street alone.
Under existing guidelines betting shops are classed as A2 – ‘financial and professional services’, meaning they can open up without planning permission in premises which have A2 class e.g a bank, estate agent or employment agency. Planning rules also state an A2 class can open without permission in an existing A3, A4 and A5 premises, which pubs, restaurants, cafes and hot food takeaways.
The council have made a submission to government http://www.hackney.gov.uk/Assets/Documents/SCA-submission.pdf under the Sustainable Communities Act asking that councils be given genuine control over when and where bookies can open. It puts forward the betting shops have their own class as a sui generis, which would councils greater influence in shaping our local high streets on behalf of their residents.
There is also an online petition put forward by Hackney council here: http://www.change.org/petitions/eric-pickles-mp-help-councils-stop-betting-shops-taking-over-our-high-streets
Full details are here: http://news.hackney.gov.uk/hackney-calls-for-support-against-blight-of-bookies/ and more details on the beat the bookies section of the Hackney Council website http://www.hackney.gov.uk/beatthebookies.htm