March 8, 2011
Town council lodges objection over gambling arcade decision
councillors are to make an official objection over the controversial
decision to allow a former tattoo shop in Highbridge to be turned
into a gambling arcade.
first reported last
month how a local
businessman's plans to convert Highbridge Ink in Market Street
into a fruit machine and gaming arcade had been approved by
Sedgemoor District Council, subject to several conditions.
These include the opening hours being restricted to 9am to 6pm
on Mondays to Saturdays and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.
However, town councillors decided at their latest full meeting
this week that they are unhappy that the plans have been approved
and they will be objecting on licensing grounds.
councillor Cllr Janet Keen said at Monday's town council meeting:
"The potential harm to young people from this arcade is very
"Young people who cannot get in will congregate or be left
"And those young people who look older than they really
are will sneak in."
"I am also concerned that gambling has been shown to increase
crime levels and would ask members to join me in this objection."
Steve Atkinson from Sedgemoor District Council said the restricted
opening hours had been put in place "to safeguard local residents
from noise and disturbance during unsocial hours."
The owner of the proposed arcade has also previously said that
no under-age gamblers will be permitted to use the gambling machines.