MP Grant Shapps speaks out about the number of betting and gambling shops in Kilburn

Grant Shapps with Simon Marcus, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Hampstead & Kilburn (Pictue

Grant Shapps with Simon Marcus, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Hampstead & Kilburn (Pictue: Polly Hancock) - Credit: Archant

Kilburn High Road plagued with more than 25 establishments

A senior Conservative party politician has spoken out about the spate of betting and gambling shops in Kilburn.

Grant Shapps MP, chairman of the Conservative party, took time out to speak to the Times on the controversial issue claiming it was essential local high streets became “vibrant places where people want to shop” but conceded Kilburn High Road may still have work to do.

The road has been identified as a problem area with more than 22 betting and cash loan shops currently lining the street while a recent study also found that residents in the Hampstead and Kilburn constituency had spent more than £140m on gambling in the last year.

“I think the sign of a bad shopping street is if you go down and you see more and more of the same thing, whether that’s charity shops, betting shops or cash loan companies” said Mr Shapps, the former minister for housing

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He added: “We have been working with Mary Portas [retail guru] to asses how high streets operate and what goes in them and how they can improve.

“Unfortunately it is not quite as simple as saying ‘you can’t open here to a betting shop.’

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The MP for Welwyn Hatfield encouraged Brent to implement a Local Neighbourhood Plan for the area.

He said: “This will give people the chance to say what they want in their area and what it needs.

“I would encourage high streets like Kilburn and beyond implement this so they don’t get overrun with more of the same thing.”

Grant Shapps was speaking to the Brent and Kilburn Times at the launch of Conservative candidate Simon Marcus’ bid for the Hampstead and Kilburn constituency.

More to follow.

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