April 8, 2014 1 Comment
Cllr Jonathan Garston, Conservative member for Milton and Portfolio holder for Planning, asserted at last night’s Place Scrutiny Committee that the reason that Southend-on-Sea has a higher concentration of betting shops than other local authorities in Essex because it is a tourist destination. He described comparing Southend-on-Sea with the rest of Essex as “unfair”.
Cllr Garston’s claim that betting shops are a magnet for day trippers and visitors stretches credibility. Whilst some visitors may pop into a bookies, this will not be their reason for coming to the town.
Jonathan further stated that the comparison should be like for like; Southend-on-Sea should be compared with Blackpool and Brighton. I do not agree that my original set of figures was ‘unfair’ (as an Essex activist I like to know the data for my county, and see how different places compare) – aren’t Clacton, Maldon, Brightlingsea, Harwich etc. equally resort-towns?
Anyway, here is the data for non-Essex seaside places:
|authority||Number of people per betting shop licence
(people over 15 years of age)
|Ranking all local authorities on a scale of deprivation
(where 1 is most deprived and 4 is least deprived)
this borough is in band
|Brighton and Hove||5030||2|
|Weymouth and Portland||6133||2|
|Isle of Wight||7813||3|
Southend-on-Sea still rides very high, highest in southern and eastern England. Southend-on-Sea is only bettered (which is probably the reverse of the word I should be using) by two places in the north-west and one in the north-east.
Like-for-like, Southend-on-Sea manages a far higher density of betting shops than Bournemouth, Brighton, Margate (Thanet) and Hastings.
What excuse will Cllr Jonathan Garston now trot out?