August 16, 2011
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.
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
"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