Just 1 day left to object to the Betfred planned for the Prince of Wales pub site on Harrow Road

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For those who haven’t yet sent in their objections to the BetFred planned for the former Prince of Wales pub at 351 Harrow Road, the closing date is Wednesday 22 April. If you don’t want another betting shop on our doorstep, please do object.

Email to: gambling@westminster.gov.uk

OR comment on line by following link: https://www.westminster.gov.uk/licensing-register
Search Register
Put in Application reference: 15/02232/LIGN
Click ‘Make a Comment’
Write Comment

Objections to a betting shop licence must relate to the two points underlined in bold below (1) and (2). Any general reasons eg ‘I don’t like gambling’, or ‘we don’t want another betting shop’ won’t be counted as an objection.
Below is some help and guidance – the kinds of reason that are valid, and hopefully will inspire you. These suggestions cover a lot of ground, you might only have a few reasons for objecting, it’s up to you.

It’s important that everyone gives their own views, so please put anything you want to, in your own words.

(the guidance in italics is from Citizen’s Advice Bureau licensing).

Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: Betfred, 351 Harrow Road, London W9 3RA – Application for new betting (other) premises licence

I write as a local resident to make a relevant representation objecting to the grant of a betting shop licence for 351 Harrow Road. I object on the basis that the application is not consistent with the ‘licensing objectives’ for gambling premises, particularly:

(1) Preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime

[Describe how you think the application could lead to gambling being a source of crime or disorder, associated with crime or disorder or used to support crime in the area eg here are a few statistics from the Harrow Rd Ward Profile 2014 http://transact.westminster.gov.uk/docstores/publications_store/wardprofiles/harrow-road-may-2014-ward-profile.pdf and why they could be relevant to these issues]

Eg: In Maida Hill (Harrow Road Ward) we have high levels of poverty and unemployment – a third of households are in the top 10% most deprived in England; in 2013 the workless rate was 17.2% – much higher than the Westminster average of 8.6 %; the Employment Support Allowance/Incapacity Benefit claim rate is 10.5%, which is much higher than the Westminster average of 5.5%; in 2013 the Job Seekers Allowance claimant rate was 4.2%, much higher than the city rate of 2% (2014 Harrow Road Ward Profile).

[Could say what you think is the likely effect of another betting shop in this particular location- are there other betting shops in the vicinity, and do these cause problems connected with the licensing objectives?]

Eg: Another betting shop, to add to several already in close proximity, can only make it more likely that gambling will become a source of crime or disorder, be associated with crime or disorder or be used to support crime. We have big, and growing, problem with anti-social drinking and behaviour. Already quite a number of men congregate outside two of the betting shops nearby, drinking on the street. This problem will become greater with another large betting shop within metres of the other two.

(Could describe the nature of the locality]

Eg: The location of the former Prince of Wales pub, where the Betfred is planned to be, is key to the future of the shopping and social hub of Maida Hill/Harrow Road – directly opposite Maida Hill piazza. There are community efforts underway to regenerate this part of the Harrow Road, and a betting shop will have an adverse effect. We are trying to counter anti social drinking on the piazza, and if another betting shop is allowed we will end up with the piazza between at least three locations of anti social drinking and anti-social behaviour. The drinking has spilled into fights, begging, aggravated begging and theft. Our local police station has been closed, which leaves the community with fewer police officers coming through, and less of a police presence. Another betting shop potentially attracting more street drinking will add to a sense of lawlessness in the area and will leave the community feeling more vulnerable.

Eg: Residential burglaries increased by 20% in the year to March 2014 compared to 2013 (Harrow Rd Ward Profile 2014), compared to the whole of Westminster which had a 7% decrease in burglaries. Another betting shop offering greater opportunity for gambling debts and increase in poverty as a result of gambling, will only make residents more vulnerable to burglary.

[Are you concerned about high-stakes gaming machines in betting shops which is regularly featured in the press as being highly addictive?]

Eg: The high stakes gaming machines in betting shops have been described as “the crack cocaine of gambling” as they are so highly addictive that people can lose hundreds of pounds a minute. This is of great concern in an area of poverty such as ours.

(2) Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

[Could describe how you think the application will impact on children and other vulnerable persons)

Eg: In Harrow Road Ward, on average 60% of children live in ‘income deprived’ households (Harrow Rd Ward Profile 2014); and we have higher than the Westminster average of people being supported in the community. Another betting shop will increase the vulnerability of these individuals to anti-social behaviour, harm, and to being exploited by gambling. Children play in the piazza, and the children of one of the local schools walk along the Harrow Road to the Jubilee Sports Centre. They will be exposed to anti-social behaviour associated with betting shops, they will also witness more gambling – not a life lesson appropriate to young children.

[Could describe any factors which may impact on the licensing objectives. For example, are there schools, faith groups, homeless hostels, alcohol/drug centres in the vicinity?]

[Could include any other experiences and views on the nature of the vicinity and how this application would either cause new problems re: crime/disorder/children/vulnerable persons, or would make existing problems worse]

Eg: The North Westminster Drug and Alcohol Service offering advice and support to people affected by drugs and/or alcohol, is in sight of the building. There are also several hostels for the homeless in our area. There is supported accommodation at the Westminster Society for People with Learning Disabilities in sight of the building. These people need to be protected from the negative influences of betting shops. There is also a Muslim Prayer Room opposite the Prince of Wales pub.

[The proposed opening times are 7am to 10pm – is this a cause of concern particularly in the evening?]

Eg: The main way into Maida Hill, from Notting Hill, runs directly past the building, as does the main route from Westbourne Park tube. With the planned opening hours being from 7am to 10pm, people walking to and from Maida Hill will have to pass a large betting shop, being exposed to gambling, drinking and other potentially anti-social behaviour. This also has a negative impact regarding anti-social drinking behaviour already mentioned.

I believe the granting of a betting shop licence would also go against the Council’s Statement of Principles, particularly regarding the location.

Yours..

(name/address/date)

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