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It’s time to reclaim our high street from the bookmakers and betting shops

Tod Sullivan, leader of the Labour group on Waveney District Council has backed Labour’s plan to give councils the power to rid local communities of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs).

Recent evidence shows that vulnerable people are being deliberately targeted by firms placing FOBTs on local high streets where people can bet up to £300 a minute or £18,000 an hour.

In Waveney alone there are an estimated 16 betting shops operating with FOBTs on their premises and Tod Sullivan is determined to take action to stop their damaging effect on the local community.

Labour is determined to deal with this and Tod Sullivan has backed Ed Miliband’s plans to give local authorities the powers they need to decide whether to stop the spread of FOBTs, cut their number or ban them all together.

Labour’s proposals would put betting shops in a separate class so that councils can use planning powers to control how many open. Labour would give councils the power to remove or limit the number of FOBTs in betting shops. Labour would also take the steps to reduce the potentially harmful effects of FOBTs by increasing the time between plays, requiring pop-ups to break up continuous cycles of play.

Tod Sullivan said: “The clustering of betting shops can cause enormous harm to our community; this is why I’m backing Ed Miliband’s plans to empower local people and local authorities decide whether they want betting shops and FOBTs on their high streets.

 “There are around 64 machines in Waveney alone and their prevalence has huge consequences for families, for levels of crime and anti-social behaviour, and for the kind of communities we live in.

 “The time has come to give local people and local authorities the right to decide if they want their high streets to be the place for high stakes, high speed and high cost gambling.” 

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