Fury after another bookie applies for licence in the High Road
RESIDENTS say the proliferation of bookies in their area is gambling away the future of their high street. Their protest comes after a bookmakers applied for a licence to open a shop in Kilburn High Road, just a few yards from another betting shop. The
RESIDENTS say the proliferation of bookies in their area is gambling away the future of their high street.
Their protest comes after a bookmakers applied for a licence to open a shop in Kilburn High Road, just a few yards from another betting shop.
The company Betfred applied to open the shop on the corner of Glengall Road and Kilburn High Road, on February 10.
Brent Council has said Betfred's application is 'live' but 'incomplete' and requires further documentation and evidence before it can proceed.
But, with an astonishing 23 different gambling venues, including 11 bookies and a number of amusement arcades in Kilburn High Road, already, residents are afraid that their high street is turning into a makeshift casino.
Al Forsythe, of the Brondesbury Residents' and Tenants' Association, said: "It's all within a picture that Kilburn is already overprovided with betting shops and it's not going to make any positive contribution to the good economic health of Kilburn town centre.
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"A lot of betting shops are a focus of anti-social behaviour, street drinking, petty crime, fencing of stolen goods and have a generally negative impact on the community."
Simon Rogers, of the Brent Eleven Streets Association said residents were opposed to more betting shops because of the 'associated problems.' He said: "Residents are appalled at the idea of yet another betting shop on their doorstep. What our community really needs to regenerate is businesses and other services that benefit a wide range of people.
"We hope that planners will not put short-term gains above the longer-term objectives for our community."
Kilburn Labour Cllr Mary Arnold, who said the application was 'ridiculous' blamed 'cuts' by Brent Council to the town centre management scheme. She said, "there is no-one to market, plan and look out for the High Road."
But Lib Dem Cllr for Kilburn, Anthony Dunn said the government's passing of the Gambling Act 2005 had made it too easy for bookies to obtain betting licences.
He said: "We are in this situation precisely because the Labour Government passed this legislation. Just as with our high streets, just as with our economy, the Labour Party has reduced everything to the roll of a dice."
Betfred said it was waiting for a decision.
A council spokesman said: "The council has informed the developer that further documentation and evidence will be required before the application can proceed.