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Council unites for Labour betting shop campaign

Hackney Council has unanimously passed a Labour motion putting further pressure on the Government to give local authorities more power over the number of betting shops on the high street.

The motion is the latest action in a seven-year campaign led by Hackney Council to give betting shops their own use class in planning law. This would give local authorities much greater say over the establishment of betting shops on the high street. In April this year the Government indicated that it would meet the campaign's demand, and this motion calls on the Government to follow this up with concrete action.

Cllr Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, said:

“For seven years Hackney Council has been calling for more powers to stop the spread of betting shops on our high street. Earlier this year we led a nationwide campaign for betting shops to be given their own use class in planning law, and the Government appeared to concede to this demand. But it is crucial that we get clarity and urgency from the Government, so local authorities can get on with responding to residents’ widespread concerns about betting shops.

“The campaign has had cross-party support across London and I am pleased that all parties support the campaign here in Hackney. It demonstrates the strength of feeling about this issue across Hackney, and our determination to get the powers we so desperately need. We want to ensure that our high streets are not dominated by betting shops, so we will be keeping up the pressure on the Government to bring forward its plans.”

There are around 65 betting shops in Hackney, with eight on Mare Street alone. Between January 2010 and December 2012 there was a 13% increase in the number of betting shops in London town centres.

A petition by Hackney Council calling for a new use class in planning law for betting shops has been signed by almost 1,500 people. You can add your name here.

The full text of the motion is available here.

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