Barnet Labour win vote forcing Tories to back betting shops campaign

Barnet's Labour councillors last night (12 Dec) forced Conservative Barnet Council to accept their motion calling on the Council to lobby Government to:

  • reduce the maximum stake for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals - dubbed the 'crack cocaine of gambling' - to £2 from £100 to help reduce the clustering of betting shops;
  • introduce a 'cumulative impacts test' so local planning committees have greater powers to restrict clustering of betting shops; 
  • impose greater restrictions on gambling advertising.

The motion at Full Council from Labour Group Leader, Cllr Barry Rawlings and amendment from Colindale Labour councillor, Zakia Zubairi, highlighted research showing there is a higher incidence of problem gambling in areas with clusters of betting shops

Latest industry figures also show that almost one in ten children aged 11-15 are now 'following' gambling companies on social media, and the second highest rates of problem gambling are in the 16-24 age category.

Eight Conservative councillors out of 32 voted with the Labour Group for the Labour motion and amendment.

Barnet's Labour councillors are supporting residents campaigning against a betting shop opening at The Edition, Colindale - a residential development which already has another betting shop a few minutes walk away.

Barnet's Planning Committee refused this betting shop application twice, but an appeal by Paddy Power may still result in the decision being overturned.

Labour Colindale councillor, Zakia Zubairi said: 

“The clustering of betting shops results in more problem gambling which causes great harm to both individuals and our community as a whole."

Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings said: 

"Local planning committees need the power to protect their communities from the proliferation and clustering of betting shops."

Ends.

Notes:

A copy of the Labour motion and amendment can be found here: http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s44050/Opposition%20Amendment%20in%20the%20name%20of%20Cllr%20Zakia%20Zubairi%20-%20Motion%20in%20the%20name%20of%20Cllr%20Barry%20Rawlings%20-.pdf

For more information on the campaign to stop the proliferation and clustering of betting shops see: 

https://www.local.gov.uk/about/news/lga-responds-report-lack-responsible-gambling-measures-operators

https://local.gov.uk/about/news/greater-curbs-needed-gambling-advertising-councils-urge

https://www.local.gov.uk/about/news/lga-responds-child-gambling-advertising-crackdown

For more information contact:

Cllr Barry Rawlings: cllr.b.rawlings@barnet.gov.uk

To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568


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