Published: August 16, 2011
Burnham-On-Sea MP Tessa Munt backs new betting shop controls

Burnham-On-Sea's MP has this week given her backing to a new parliamentary bill to control the amount of betting shops on high streets.

The current law means that no planning application is needed if a bookie wants to open a premises at a site previously owned by a bank, building society or an estate agent.

But Tessa Munt believes the law needs to be updated and argues that residents people should be able to give their opnion on what businesses open on high streets.

The MP particularly wants to see a reduction in the number of betting shops at ground-floor levels where young people can see the shop windows, which often contain advertisements promoting gambling.

She said: "Burnham-On-Sea, in common with most town centres and high streets, suffers from a proliferation of betting shops."

"On the coast there are a number of gaming machines and surely there must be a way of allowing local authorities to insist that these kinds of shops are situated at first-floor level or above."

"That would get rid of the problem, especially young people, passing along a high street and seeing the enormous shop fronts, if we put those businesses on the first or second floor or above we would be left with only a shop doorway."

MP Joan Ruddock's 10 Minute Rule Bill was passed at the end of the summer parliamentary term and is scheduled to receive a second reading in the Commons on January 20th, 2012.

Our photos show Burnham's Bet Fred bookmaker in College Street and, above, MP Tessa Munt in the Commons


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