Published: March 8, 2011
Town council lodges objection over gambling arcade decision

Town 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.

Highbridge councillor Cllr Janet Keen said at Monday's town council meeting: "The potential harm to young people from this arcade is very great."

"Young people who cannot get in will congregate or be left unsupervised outside."

"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.


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