Bassetlaw: Council leader Simon Greaves backs calls for more control on betting shops being opened

Bassetlaw Council leader Coun Simon Greaves
Bassetlaw Council leader Coun Simon Greaves

Bassetlaw Council leader Coun Simon Greaves has backed calls for greater licensing powers to block the opening of more betting shops in the district.

The Local Government Association (LGA) says the public wanted to see fewer betting shops on the high streets, but that the authorities were limited by restrictive planning and licensing systems.

The LGA said licensing systems should be reformed to allow authorities to prevent betting shops being “clustered” in town centres.

Coun Greaves said: “I have been on record many times arguing that we need greater licensing powers on a local level.”

“This is not just in relation to betting shops but across the board and needs to encompass fast food outlets and money lenders as well.”

“Over the last four years we have only seen three bookmakers open in the district so clustering hasn’t been a problem.”

“I would welcome additional powers for Bassetlaw though, as our existing powers don’t allow us to prevent the proliferation of bookmakers in the same area,

Coun Tony Page, the LGA’s licensing spokesman, added “Councils aren’t anti-bookies but need powers to tackle the damage that can be caused to high streets and town centres by the clustering of betting shops.

“Planning and licensing controls are supposed to ensure new shops or business will benefit an area but the current system is preventing that.”

Betfred and William Hill, who both have shops in Worksop, have supported calls for tougher powers for councils.