There was also an important motion on the use of the Sustainable Communities Act. This was proposed by Labour councillors Ian Rathbone and Deniz Oguzkanli. This Council:
- Shares the widespread concern among Hackney residents at the high concentration of betting shops in some parts of the borough, and the constraints of planning and licensing regulations in addressing this.
- Welcomes the hard work of the Mayor and other councillors over the past two years in campaigning for planning and licensing regulations to be tightened so that Councils can have a greater role in shaping their local communities
- Notes the recent meeting initiated by the Community Safety and Social Inclusion Scrutiny Commission, which investigated the problem, heard from local residents and international experts as to the problems betting shops can cause, and collected evidence to be used as part of a London-wide move to restrict the growth of gambling off and on-line.
- Endorses the decision by the Labour administration to take a lead in London in using the Sustainable Communities Act to put forward proposals seeking powers for local authorities to tackle the concentration of betting shops in areas with highlevels of deprivation, as set out by the Cabinet Member at April’s meeting of Full Council.‘
The Sustainable Communities Act allows councils and residents to play a key role in making their communities more sustainable. Local authorities put forward proposals to the Local Government Association by the end of this month.
The Labour administration is Hackney is proposing that the Sustainable Communities Act can be used to influence the shape of our high streets, by allowing local authorities to prevent the concentration of betting shops in areas of high deprivation.This follows extensive consultation with local groups such as the Hackney Community Empowerment Network and Local Works and residents via the e-panel and neighbourhood forums, and a special scrutiny commission meeting on the issue (more info here).
Cllr Louisa Thomson asked a question about the plans to use the Sustainable Communities Act back in April - as we are aware of the importance of the proposals for the potential to improve the overall sustainability of local communites. We have three betting shops already in Stoke Newington and local residents also attach great importance to the unique character our High Street - having powers to help prevent the proliferation of betting shops and shape the High Street would be very welcome.
The motion got the full support of Labour councillors in the Chamber - the one Green councillor on Hackney was not present and did not support the motion.
Other issues considered at the meeting included:
- A deputation from the Campaign for Real Ale on preserving local pubs
- Designating Hackney Road as a conservation area
- Annual report on Looked After Children in Hackney
- Tackling worklessness - report from the Community Safety and Social Inclusion Scrutiny Commission
- Annual report from the Standards Committee
The full agenda and reports are here.