Tuesday 3 April 2012

How Greens will support our local high streets

Paddy Power have now opened a large new betting shop on Bridge Road, Wembley making it the third in the immediate vicinity. It replaces a bar/restaurant that struggled to succeed. I have argued before not against betting shops as such but for policies to improve the diversity of our high streets and thus encourage local shopping and small businesses.

The London Green Party and our Mayoral candidate Jenny Jones have been publicising our policies on these issues today and they may be of interest to those concerned about the impact of parking restrictions in Bridge Road and Preston Road.

The policies include:

1. Using planning policy to ensure that by 2020 all neighbourhoods will have a range of essential local services such as chemists within walking distance, and we will use planning policy to achieve this.

2. Increasing small business representation in the community by ensure micro and small businesses are properly represented on London's Local Enterprise Partnership.

3. Working with boroughs and trade bodies to Encourage Londoners to "buy local" and commission research into "buy local" schemes.

4. Ensuring small and local businesses aren't disadvantaged by congestion and parking and consulting them on the future of the congestion charge and a ‘pay as your drive' scheme, which would reduce time and money spent in traffic jams.

5. Preventing the construction of purpose-built car parks for supermarkets wherever possible and ensure local shops aren't disadvantaged by parking standards.

6. Lobbying the Government to give local authorities much stronger powers to prevent chain stores taking over independent shops, and to control the saturation of certain business types such as takeaways, betting shops and payday loan companies.


Anonymous said...

I want to see less betting shops on local high streets in brent...I don't think it is a good thing to be trying to entice people to gamble...neither should supermarkets be jumping on the bandwagon by putting billboards outside their shops that promote gambling...I think that to promote gambling is as irresponsible as promoting smoking because one causes damage to health and the other causes financial ruin...also I want there to be less fast food outlets because they do nothing but sell high calorie food that causes people to become overweight which isn't good...and if there has to be fast food outlets then they should be made by law to serve food that is freshly cooked.
for example there is a fish and chip shop opposite lidl in wembley and it sells chips that are not fresh and have been sitting in the container for hours on end and so when people walk in to buy chips they are paying £1.20 for cold chips...and believe me eating cold chips isn't nice.
the next time I buy anything from that chip shop I intend to ask why they don't sell freshly cooked chips?
no doubt it is to avoid waste and maximise profits...I mean think about it...let's say they open at midday and they staart off with freshly fried chips...but say by 5pm they have only had 3 customers will they throw away the chips which will have grown cold and fry fresh ones?
well they should but it seems to me that they don't.
of course I could be wrong but I just don't think it is right for a chip shop to sell cold chips...years before that same chip shop used to sell pasties that were either so dry they were uneatable or they were out of date and were mouldy inside...time and time again that kept happening and each time they would apologize but then they would do it again by selling food that was not fit for human consumption...now today I heard on the news that due to the olympics there will be a effort put forth to make sure that people that sell food do not sell bad food to the public.
now I welcome that but I question why is it they are only doing that because london is hosting the olympics?

Anonymous said...

Jenny Jones may not see anything wrong with betting shops but I do...one definition of gambling is defined as follows...An act or undertaking of uncertain outcome; a risk.
another definition is defined this way...To engage in reckless or hazardous behavior:
now my question is how can someone who wishes to be elected as mayor of london say she has nothing against betting shops?
such a person in my opinion is like a blind person being given a job as a driver...because the driver cant see the obstacles in the way her passengers will be put at risk...and gambling is a big risk...

Martin Francis said...

'Not against betting shops as such' was my comment - not Jenny's. I don't know her personal views on this issue. I have through both friends and family seen the damage that addiction to gambling can do and also remember the days before betting shops when back street deals were linked with crime. In that sense betting shops are similar to pubs and alcoholism - they both serve those who can control their habit and get pleasure from it, but also can reinforce an addiction. Should the former group be penalised because of the latter?

For many people who are in low pay jobs or unemployed a bet represents the only potential way out of their situation. The odds are massively against them and the big companies make massive profits but should we deny them that glimmer of hope?

Gambling via the various lotteries (supported by the BBC amongst others), scratch cards, phone in advertising, lucky numbers on products etc is now part of the mainstream and is clearly linked to consumerist society: win and you can consume even more. So the issue goes far beyond the plethora of betting shops to social attitudes and values.

Changes to planning laws to enable us to oppose an over-supply of betting shops and fast food outlets and thus diversify our high streets, seems a sensible practical measure pending those societal changes.

trevor said...

thanks very much for your answer
but I'm afraid I think in this case being cruel (if you like) to be kind is the better option...instead of placing betting shops on the corner to entice people to gamble away what little they have in order to win a lot is wrong.
and that is the problem with this country is that it encourages wrong things.