Many areas in the borough have not just a high density of betting shops but many of the anti-social problems that appear to come with these establishments. Residents are concerned about the effects that a cluster of betting shops can have on our high streets and local shopping parades.
Some of the reported problems include street muggings, drug dealing, vandalism, littering, harassment and intimidation from customers outside on the street, underage gambling and street drinking. Then there is the issue that gambling in many cases makes poorer people, poorer. More and more betting shops have opened due to a loophole in the law that allowed the big bookmaking chains to open branches in many locations without planning permission.
|Lib Dem Jon Ball|
Jon Ball succeeded in persuading the government to make it harder for betting shops to open on our high street. He initially raised the issue at a Liberal Democrat national conference which agreed with his proposals. He then successfully lobbied coalition government ministers to introduce new powers to crack down on the large increase in betting shops. Now bookmakers will have to make a planning application which local councils will be able to refuse if they are worried about the numbers of shops in the area.
Across the country many people are concerned about the explosion in the number of betting shops in high streets. Liberal Democrats in Government are determined to build a stronger economy and a fairer society with healthy and diverse high streets that aren’t dominated by betting shops. This is why we are now giving councils tough new powers to prevent the proliferation of betting shops in their area.
This is a powerful example of a Liberal Democrat campaigner championing a local issue which will have a positive impact across London and the whole country. This is why Ealing needs a Liberal Democrat MP.