Thursday, February 10, 2011

Betfred Licensing Hearing decision

Inevitably, Lewisham Licensing Committee were obliged to grant Betfred their Betting Licence yesterday evening, due to the restrictions imposed on them by the Gambling Law 2005.

Three people spoke on behalf of the people of Deptford in objection, one of whom runs a business on the high street who spoke passionately on behalf of businesses in the immediate vicinity who are opposed to the new betting shop.

The committee posed a few questions to the Betfred representative related to children and to problem gambling. Since the law as it stands discounts the effect on children of the prevalence of bookmakers in the area so long as they are not allowed on the premises, all arguments about the proximity of the proposed premises to primary schools and community resources could not be considered.

Regarding the question of problem gambling, the response of Betfred was laughable, but still within the law, since it is an irrelevancy under the current Act.

The hearing ended with an afterword from the Licencing Team officer, who said we would be sent papers about how we could appeal quite soon against this decision (in Bromley), and also that the applicant would be obliged to submit to a Planning stage in due course.

We'd assumed there would be very little happening at Planning stage, since the premises has A2 use already, but it appears it has exclusive use as a "Building Society" and nothing else, a rather bizarre twist in the story....


  1. cynical of crossfieldsSunday, February 13, 2011

    Oh Dear , what a sad state of affairs , and another reason to avoid the high street ,
    which i do more increasingly due to this kind
    of shift ..

    it's funny really i recently asked two local shop owners of what they thought about betfred coming ,one didn't know and one didn't care ..

    i think i'm personally looking forward to the day when i can move out of deptford ..

  2. Cynical, dunno when you spoke to the local shop owners, but they all know now and have signed the petition against...

  3. Plus I'd suggest you move out of Deptford, or fight to save it. Goodbye.

  4. cynical of crossfieldsSunday, March 06, 2011

    oh sue , i must admit i find it amusing you come back 10 days later with your last comment , like you seem dismayed i didn't reply back after your first comment ..

    anyhow though i think your campaign against the bookies very admirable , i honestly think alot of peeps in deptford don't care or give a toss about how many bookies exist unless it impacts on their own little interest group whether that be Art , Christianity or whatever ? ..

    and also i find this sites constant vilification of said users of bookies somewhat offensive , ok they might be a bunch of alcoholic losers but they're also human beings
    and of course they're going to welcome another bookies ..

    plus i find your comments about fight to save it or move out , well pretty funny really ,
    yes deptford is a strange melting pot of pretentious art wankers , born again nut cases ,
    immigrants and junky losers , but really ! ,
    save it from what ? , it's an ongoing melting pot in flux , it's never going to be this cosy
    grass roots space it might have been back in the day ,
    and as you've found out with the latest round of betfred nonsense , it's like a wave of energy thats impossible to stop , yes it's fucked up and unwanted by you and a vocal minority ,

    but i honestly think you'd be better off focusing on the positive things rather than continuously focusing on the negative , cos you'll drive your self mad in the process ,
    then maybe you'll be able to go share a brew with the street people of the high street with some understanding of where they're at ..

  5. Hi Cynical,
    Sorry that your comment has only just appeared. Marmoset, who knows about these sorts of things, says Google did something weird with the spam filters and you got stuck in with the spam.

    That said, your comment is both praising and damning. Apologies for suggesting you move out if you're not going to fight, however, since I imagine like most of us you're stuck here with not much choice of where to move.

    Unfortunately in objecting to the Licence Application in January it became necessary to focus on Crime and Disorder under the 2005 Gambling Act because there was no other means to object, which meant complaining A LOT about the level of antisocial behaviour having increased (it has) without empathy for those involved. It was only in a conversation with the Met Licensing Officer shortly before the hearing that we discovered that Antisocial Behaviour isn't covered by this law at all.

    And yes, you're right, it does seem impossible to stop a multi-billion chain operator like Betfred creeping in to suck the money off the people who can least afford it, promising those without the possibility of having, whilst taking what little they had already. On the upside, at least they have somewhere warm to go to watch the big football matches on Sky, something denied other sports watchers who can't afford Sky at home, or the pub.

    And it does drive you mad, especially when your locally elected councillors and MP say and do nothing to stop it. The other regrettable thing is not having enough time to raise the issues elsewhere instead of banging on about it on this blog. Apologies for bringing the blog down. You're welcome to write in to this blog about all the lovely jubbly positive things that are happening and keep us all happily immunised against the cynical take over of the high street by greedy billionaires who, like hedge fund managers, care nothing about place, poverty, education, employment, inclusion, civic pride, community or any of that stuff…and only about profit as they laugh all the way to their offshore banks.