All bets off as Abbott blames Labour over bookies

Abbott15: Hackney N sitting candidate Diane Abbott campaigns for Labour Stoke Newington High St in the spring 2015 general election © DavidAltheer@gmail.com

ANTI-GAMBLING campaigner Diane Abbott has reacted to a Hackney council boast about a betting-shop clampdown by criticising her own party as having caused the problem.

Asked to comment on a council press release describing a planning-law change as a “Victory for Hackney over betting shops”, the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, pictured campaigning in this year’s general election, told Loving Dalston: “This is a great victory for campaigners against the proliferation of betting shops which have been blighting our high streets.

“Sadly, this is all a consequence of the Labour Government’s 2005 Gambling Act, which deregulated gambling.”

The former minister, who wants Labour to select her as its candidate for the London mayoralty, added: “I voted against it at the time.”

The government has amended the regulations to give bookmaker premises a specific planning-use class so that a gambling firm will no longer be able to take over a range of businesses, such as a shop, bank, café, pub or takeaway, and convert them to betting shops without further planning permission.

Previously, Hackney council’s press statement pointed out, councils had been powerless to intervene, and this had led to a proliferation of betting shops in Hackney; eg, eight in Mare Street alone.

Betshop2: Mare St Hackney E8 © david.altheer@gmail.com
Place the bet: bookmakers’ in a top location, near Mare Street job centre

Over the last eight years, the council said, it had lobbied governments for local authorities to have more powers over betting shops. (The reference to “eight years” derives from the time the legislation was introduced — by Labour, as Abbott acknowledged, an admission too much for Hackney council.)

Pipefist: What I believe: Mayor Jules Pipe at the Hackney debate 190315 © david.altheer@gmail.com
Laying down the law: Pipe

Hackney Mayor Jules Pipe said: “Hackney council, along with local authorities across the country, has been calling on government to give us the tools to better tackle the blight of bookies in our high streets.

“At last ministers have listened to the overwhelming weight of public and council opinion against the betting shop free-for-all.”

David Altheer 110815 

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained. Most photographs can be visually enlarged by pressing on them.

* All pictures on this page © DavidAltheer[at]gmail.com

This site welcomes fair comments, including the critical. They may be edited for grammatical, legal or taste reasons, or for shortening. In the unlikely event that anything defamatory is posted, the sender’s details may have to be divulged. (Under UK law, this applies to any comment/discussion forum, eg, Twitter.) RSS feed link is at top right. Twitter: @lovingdalston Publicists, amateur and professional, should read http://bit.ly/ZnClKc Also relevant may be the note at the end of http://bit.ly/117GXmi Photographs © David Altheer unless otherwise stated and apart from supplied pictures

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *