June 22, 2011
residents react with dismay to gambling arcade decision
in Highbridge have reacted with dismay to the district council's
decision on Wednesday (June 22nd) to give the go-ahead to controversial
plans to convert this town centre tattoo shop into a new gambling
District Council's Licensing and Gambling Panel made the decision
regarding 'Casino Slots' at 2 Market Street during a meeting in
Cllr Helen Groves, who spoke on behalf of Burnham and Highbridge
Town Council, objected to the plans on the grounds of protecting
children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited
told Burnham-On-Sea.com after the meeting she was "very disappointed"
by the decision.
added: "I am extremely disappointed that the panel felt unable
to uphold the objection of the Town Council and that no consideration
could be made of the social impact of the arcade. It is my sincere
hope that the applicant does robustly monitor the usage of this
facility and does apply the membership and social responsibility
controls he has indicated. I truly regret that on this occasion
the outcome was not the one that I understand the community to
Tina Gray, from Highbridge Residents Association, told Burnham-On-Sea.com
she was "shocked and horrified" by the district council's
The applicant, Michael Childs, assured councillors at the hearing
that the arcade would not target young people with its £500
jackpot machines and that a strict membership system would be
spokeswoman for Sedgemoor told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "We have
heard evidence from the applicant, Michael Childs, as to his application
and find that the premises are not located in the vicinity of
any school or park and have received evidence from him regarding
his management of the premises."
"We are satisfied that he has in place provisions to satisfy
the Code of Practice restricting access to the premises to children
and vulnerable persons and that Mr Childs has undergone appropriate
training and has undertaken to ensure all staff receive suitable
"We have considered the evidence presented by the Town Council.
We acknowledge the genuine concerns of the Town Council regarding
gambling and its possible effects upon children and vulnerable
persons. The Town Councils concerns regarding the crime
and disorder in the area are not in themselves directly related
to children and vulnerable persons."
"Such concerns could have been presented by the police but
no such representations had been received."
"The Town Councils representations regarding alcohol
related incidents and smoking are not sufficient to demonstrate
that in themselves they will have any direct impact on children
or other vulnerable persons."
The application was granted on condition that the windows to
the premises will be obscured to prevent the viewing of the interior
from the exterior and that all staff employed on the premises
shall undergo appropriate training before commencing employment.