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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Superb News: Kinleigh Folkard Hayward listen to community and stay their hand on betting shop - Thank you KfH

An update about the struggle over the Coliseum building. About half an hour ago I received the following email from KfH:

Dear Hugh,

Further to the discussions regarding our site in Harringay, I have an update for you which I am sure will please you. 

As we have said previously, we have been trying to find a tenant for the premises for almost a year and have received only one acceptable offer. 

However, we have listened to the concerns voiced by local residents and traders and have decided to put the assignment to the betting shop operator on hold while we re-explore other options.

We are very happy to work with the local community to find a mutually satisfactory solution but we cannot hold these empty premises indefinitely and do need to eliminate our liabilities for the rent and rates, which are approaching £85,000 per annum. 

We look forward to further discussions.

Kind regards,


Kaylene Smith
PR Manager

Kaylene just told me over the phone, "We're really keen to work with the community.  So we've decided to put things on hold for a few months. With all the interest, we hope that we'll now have better luck finding an alternative tenant"

Kaylene also mentioned that this mail has been copied to David Lammy. Many thanks to David who has supported our campaign. As I wrote yesterday he spoke recently with the KfH MD to underline the strength of feeling made clear on HoL. He also asked members of his email list to voice their support and mail in to KfH, all of which has helped convince KfH to review their decision, I'm quite sure.

Superb. Thank you KfH.

Tags for Forum Posts: betting, gambling, kfh, kinleigh folkard hayward

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I cannot agree that anti-clustering powers would have 'no practical change' in high streets where there are already 9 or more betting shops in a mile stretch (depending on which Haringey high street you pick). There can be no denying the clustering when numbers reach those levels. Nor do I think it is fair to call David Lammy's work on this 'conscience-salving'. Sometimes politicians really do understand that they messed up and try to put it right.

His party is in no position now to repeal any act so he is forced to chip away from the outside. That the Coalition defeated this small attempt to put some power back in the hands of council shows little regard for the public affected who have lobbied DL and others to get 'something done'. At a time when other political legislation like the Welfare Reform Act are going to affect people directly and painfully, it is highly unlikely that the masses of Tottenham, Wood Green and Harringay are going to rise up over the Gambling Act.

Still let's start with those who do have the ear of government, perhaps Lynne Featherstone would like to push for a ban on FOBTs for example. We know that would be a very painful blow for the industry, which they know, and which is why they try to argue for them as a way of keeping shops on high streets which is a 'good thing'. This thread on a betting forum is a very illuminating one, as you can see the views range from 'take responsibility' to genuine concern from punters. 

To be honest, this is a small victory for local people who often feel utterly powerless in the face of big business coupled with poor legislation. I don't think anyone thinks they've won a war though just a small skirmish on the edge of battle. Yes, the bigger picture is important and yes we must pepare for the next stage but it doesn't do to keep telling people that they haven't won when clearly they have...if only for now. Any little bit of hope will keep them fighting on. Give residents their time to celebrate.

I do not deny that there is clustering of betting shops.

It is obvious for all to see. They cluster in poorer areas. They cluster near pawn-brokers, post-offices and pay-day lenders. It is one of the effects and unintended consequences of the Gambling Act (2005).

I do say that anti-clustering powers awarded to local authorities - without change in the primary Act - would have little or no useful effect. I think that if well-intentioned anti-clustering "power" had been enacted, its adherents would have been disappointed.

Such small, planning-type powers awarded to local bodies would have been in direct conflict with the primary Gambling Act. Judges and magistrates arbitrate where laws are in conflict.

The (unreformed) Gambling Act would trump local councils' extra planning-type powers, just as I, and others, have witnessed its trumping of council licensing committee decisions, in courts thus far.

Put simply, the main law of the land 99% favours new betting shops.

Many congrats to everyone!

>>the most likely route

Can the £85,000/yr rent be reduced? It would seem that, without community approval, the tenant may not prosper. therefore, to enable a happy let, the landlord could reduce the rent to avoid acrimony - who will ask them directly to consider that, given a suitable tenant? I'd like to put a face to the decision maker - make it personal.

If a business needs a break-even profit of 20% of turnover, that's at least £500,000 annually to justify the rent and scrape by. To pay decent salaries and make it sustainable, it could be at least double.  

What sort of entity can attract £1m/yr in that location?

It might 'seed' a potential tenant if residents list uses they would actively support - a ready-made 'cashmob'.

Be good to see figures for the local economy to see what money people could spend here, to maybe help someone thinking of starting up. Need not be retail, though. Would the HoL Local Business Network be interested in advising?

More good news from KfH. Rob Chau of the Harringay Traders has been in conversation with Richard Clemenson at KfH and, as had been previously agreed, the premises will made available to the community related to consultation on the Outer London Fund plans - more coming very soon. 

This would be for a short term period of a few months whilst the property is remarketed. I hope this means that it will also be made available for other community use during that time.

Yes, good news, it's another step forward.



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