I feel that perhaps I owe the community an explanation for bringing our High Street to national attention. I have to admit that I didn’t expect that, what I thought, was an ordinary inquiry to the newspaper, following a short article about the problems of gambling in Australia, could result in a front page spread about the effects of the Gambling Act 2005 as experienced here in Harringay.
For anyone who might have been upset about my highlighting of the situation along Green Lanes, I apologise & suggest that you stop reading now.
I’m not against gambling per se, I don’t gamble, but I know plenty of people who like an occasional flutter; however I am concerned that our High Street’s diversity would be undermined by an unrestricted supply of bookies and gambling outlets. I think more betting shops and adult gaming centres would be detrimental to the vitality and viability of Green Lanes. I happen to think that there are more appropriate places within the urban landscape for a congregation of these activities, not a residential high street like ours.
The legislation specifically says that demand will have no bearing on the decision and that moral arguments will not be entertained. At a stroke whilst everybody’s attention was focused on super casinos and regional casinos, a licence to open bookies and slot-machine arcades became law in the Gambling Act 2005, last September, and the first I became aware of it, was when the rash of applications started to appear on our high street, and other high streets throughout the land as I’ve subsequently learnt.
Elsewhere on this site, the 3!! permitted objections are outlined, but to refresh everybody’s memory, they basically only offer the community the opportunity to object on the grounds of protection of children and other vulnerable people, all the stuff about crime and disorder has to really come from the police unless you can put together a great deal of evidence through research of statistics to argue the points about criminality and sources of disorder.
The point of all this ramble, is that I spoke to Patrick Collinson at the Guardian yesterday, and he said that he’d had some feed-back from readers, and was hoping to publish some letters in the next edition of Money Guardian. If anyone out there wants to add their voice to object these bookies and their ilk from expanding their operations, please contact: - email@example.com, and put your perspective on the issue.
The Guardian has been running a series of articles since the beginning of last year, (along with the Daily Mail!) to oppose the legislation contained in the Gambling Act 2005. I think that only mass objection will ever force a review of the act, and contacting the letters pages of the national press is a good place to start.
Meanwhile, you all know that ‘betterbet.com’ have their hearing on January 29th and Hugh along with the LCSP will be called as witnesses at the Magistrates Appeal hearing for Metrobet at the end of February. Please support them, I think they will need all the help we can give them.
Personally, I don’t want it to stop here, and I’m wracking my brains as to how to passively get this law amended to allow a more holistic approach to gambling in general. Any ideas would be most welcome.