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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Haringey Council states "If we can't stop gambling shops in Green Lanes, then it's clear that we've lost any ability to control gambling anywhere in the borough"

This is the conclusion of the Head of Haringey's Leagl team for licensing.

Stark conclusion.

Crass legislation.

Metrobet have their workmen in finishing off 507 Green Lanes today. Look forward to more of the same.

Tags for Forum Posts: betting shops, gambling, green lanes

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Hi Liz,

I'm sure we agree that the expansion of betting shops is neither a Harringay nor a Green Lanes problem. For example, they’re a very prominent feature along High Road, Tottenham. (Click here.) Nor is this a Haringey borough problem, as we know from protests in Hackney.

Gambling law need amending nationally to rebalance the rights of local communities and not remain skewed in favour of the betting companies. But both have legitimate interests. I also agree with the person on this site who mentioned the bane of illicit gambling; the last thing we need is change in the law which drives more betting underground.

I suspect there’s a wide consensus about the need for gambling law reform - and not just in London. So local campaigns need to build effective links with campaigns elsewhere. We also need a practical process for pooling views and arriving at the specifics of this consensus - a new position on betting shops, casinos etc, which most people can accept.

How can we add our weight to efforts to change the Government's mind? I'd suggest supporting David Lammy and Nilgun Canver. David's opposition to the proliferation of betting shops is a matter of record. If he and Nilgun can change the Minister's view, so much the better.

Incidentally, this is not because I’m a Labour councillor. When my colleagues are wrong, I’m prepared to challenge them. I’ve had heated arguments with both Nilgun and David. (They’re grown-up enough to listen to and value alternative views.) On betting shops I agree with them. And so, I think do most residents.

At minimum, let’s all write and email Hazel Blears with our own views about the local problems, and why the law needs changing. And encourage our friends and neighbours to do the same.
Alan, I am re reading my contributions to this thread in an effort to see how they could be construed as not supporting David Lammy and Nilgun Canver in their efforts. I can assure you that I feel on this occasion they have done their utmost in this campaign and it appears that they are still doing their utmost. As I have recorded elsewhere on this site, I am certainly not anti betting shop and have even used them in the past (although as a woman, I was rather an exotic creature, the only other female being the teller and I have to say I would not have entered the premises alone. I wonder how many women would? but that is perhaps another debate.)
I think as Alison said in all the fuss about supercasinos, we simply did not see this coming and now we are at a stage where the betting shops clearly feel they are not going to lose (indeed the shop fitters are already working on the Metrobet shop).
This is a rotten piece of legislation and it totally undermines the idea of commitment to sustainable communities. This is not the fault of the council and I, too, am grown up to see this. They have, as Hugh said, done right by us on this issue. My letter to Hazel Blears was drafted shortly after the email I wrote to Mr Lammy and the councillors.
That local campaigns fight together on this is common sense. Is there any umbrella group that has begun this process? It would be of value if we begin dialogue with such a group as soon as possible
> David Lammy MP and I have been liaising with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Gov. on this matter.


Please keep us informed regards the outcome from this line of communication. It's a very good idea to go down that road.

I'll do that Matt. Nilgun
It would seem that the council is getting shafted either way. The following article says that they have to pay £10000 costs for appealing Metrobet's application.


Outraged, of Cavendish Road!
I agree, outrageous - talk about a disincentive for Councils ever to turn down planning or licence applications.

At least they aren't lap dancing clubs - I heard a programme about them the other day and it mentioned a particular street in Hackney as having three clubs, despite residents being opposed. Nice.
Also a new one on the corner of Warham I think . . . unless this is the one you're talking of.
You, that's the one Benedict. There are three in total seeking licences for Green Lanes at the moment
I am reading this thread with great interest...

I have recently delved into the new gambling legislation and I was appalled by the hypocrisy!
Sorry I can not find a more appropriate word...

Unfortunately the word hypocrisy does not apply only to the government who have brought this legislation into effect. Our local council isn't as pure hearted as it would appear either.

Last week Haringey council granted themselves a permanent licence for track betting in Alexandra Palace! Haringey council who are the trustees of the Alexandra Palace and Park and are the administrators of Alexandra palace trading company, have applied for the licence in this case. And also granted it to themselves Which is another issue of conflict of interest as well

No one forced Haringey council to apply for a betting licence. It was their own initiative.
The application was granted without any conditions.

I personally wrote to David Lammy MP but I am sad to say I got no reply whatsoever!

Maybe the councillors on this board who are keen to distance themselves from any responsibility in this matter would care to explain this latest move to this local community!
I agree with GN8. The truth is that while some councillors are genuinely and sincerely opposed to gambling, others, such as Harry Lister are not only in favour of gambling, but are in favour of its most potent form, casinos. Councillor Lister is so much in favour of gambling he is on public record as wanting to see it in Council-controlled premises - Alexandra Palace.

Not only did he not accept his colleagues views not to have a casino in Haringey, but he vowed to pursue the casino policy (see LBH promise to developer of a casino, below). But that was two years ago, I hear you say, surely his views are out of date and irrelevant?

Well, who was it who just happened to chair the Full Licensing Committee only last week that granted the permanent premises licence for track betting at Alexandra Palace? Just one guess!

Who dominated the committee and ruthlessly stamped on the 6 (six) Objectors from making the points they wanted to make? Who required even members of the public observing, to identify themselves? Does that happen in most licence Hearings?

The truth is that the Application for a Licence by the Councillors (AP Trustees), and granted by Councillors (AP Trustees) was intensely political. Even the Council Leader supported this gambling application! Councillor Lister was determined to force it through as a precedent for gambling expansion, wholly inappropriate in our charity's premises. Is the Council really so skint and would stoop so low that in order to help finance the development of AP, it craves the losses of mug-punters?

Why did the Council promise to their preferred development partner (Firoka) at Alexandra Palace, a "small" Casino in the legally binding, enforceable Lease, when they supposedly have a policy of no casinos in Haringey? This shows either bad faith, naïveté, ignorance or legal stupidity.

Little wonder that the Lease was cloaked with intense and obsessive secrecy, up until the Judicial Review that lifted the veil. Was the alleged "commercial confidentiality" really the reason for secrecy? Or was it intense political embarrassment, which continues to this day in the form of blustering obfuscation from the current AP chairman about the truth.

Council speak with forked tongue!

Where lies the government's Sustainable Communities Strategy, a requirement for local government? How does this square with their permissive Gambling Act, 2005?

Interestingly, the PR firm for Alexandra Palace, (Lexington Communications) employed at great expensive by the Council (that's our expense) has lobbied for casino interests in the past. Such lobbying is not limited to the Department of Culture Media and Sport when the DCMS were taking representations about future gambling policy in 2001. Were Lexington hired by the Council partly for their casino lobbying experience?
Did anyone spot the ad in the local free paper for the opening of the new betting shops over Tottenham way (soon coming to Green Lanes, whooo hooo)? It was being opened by Paul Merson. For those whose footie trivia is limited, that would be the same Paul Merson who struggled publicly for years over a gambling problem and I think lost his home at one point. Go figure.
Merson was a legend for Arsenal, so one would hope that this was a cheap shot at Spurs fans! Unfortunately, I doubt there's any subtlety going on though, he probably just needs to pay his bar tab.



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