South Tyneside Council has approved a new Statement of Licensing Policy for 2022 to 2025, following a period of public consultation prompting amendments to its existing legislation.
Councillors voted in favour of the changes during a 25 November meeting, despite expressing concerns over the potential proximity of gambling premises to vulnerable people.
But it’s the tone and the direction of travel some councillors are showing across the country that will concern the industry. In South Tyneside, it was an inconsistent trope linking gambling addicts within the proximity of an applicant.
“During debate on the report at full council this week, some concerns were raised by councillors,” reported the Shields Gazette. “Councillor David Francis, leader of the council’s Green Group, singled out an aspect of the report which is taken into consideration by a licence holder or applicant when undertaking a local risk assessment.”
“This includes identifying any establishment where children and vulnerable adults are known to attend regularly within 100 metres of their premises.”
Commenting on the requirement, Cllr Francis said: “I’m not sure if 100 metres is enough of a deterrent to somebody struggling with compulsive behaviour and gambling addiction.”
However, the report to borough council was approved, with the council’s cabinet member for area management and community safety, Cllr Ernest Gibson, noting comments would be taken on board, and that councillors would receive a written response.