10 August 2009
Hackney Greens today praised their Labour-run council for supporting a Green Party campaign to use the Sustainable Communities Act to combat the growth of bookmakers throughout the borough.
The Gambling Act 2005 - which came into force in 2007 - removed the need for bookmakers to show there was demand for yet another bookies in an area, even where there are already many existing betting shops.
In June 2009, Lewisham's Green Party ward councillors began a campaign to use the new Sustainable Communities Act to return this power to local level. (1) In July 2009, Hackney Labour followed suit.
Hackney Green councillor Mischa Borris commented: "We're delighted that Hackney will be benefiting from an innovative Green Party campaign. Labour in Hackney have done well to pick up where Lewisham Greens left off."
"It's not having a small flutter at the bookies that we object to, but the harm that gambling does. A large number of bookmakers means it's easier to gamble and become addicted. Bookmakers leech money out of Hackney; and Hackney residents suffer."
"I have written to Mayor Pipe supporting the motion, saying 'it is always my aim to provide constructive opposition, supporting your group where appropriate and criticising when I feel necessary.'
"In this instance, as councillor and as a Party, we fully advocate Labour's Green Party campaign and will be watching and supporting them every step of the way."
Notes for editors:
1. The Sustainable Communities Act allows anyone to make suggestions for changes that would make communities more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. The council has to agree with a panel of local citizens on which ideas to pass up to government, where they will have a chance of being implemented.