To be moved by Councillor Karmani Seconded by Councillor Shabbir
This Council Notes: That we acknowledge the finding from recent research analysis into gambling in poor areas undertaken by the Guardian (2012) that identifies that; turnover sees four times the amount bet in poorer areas with high unemployment than in richer constituencies with lower unemployment. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2013/jan/04/5bn-gambled-britian- poorest-high-street#_)
The report reveals that in the 50 parliamentary constituencies with the highest numbers of unemployed people, punters visited 1,251 betting shops and put £5.6bn into 4,454 so-called fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs). By comparison, the 50 constituencies with the lowest levels of unemployment had only 287 betting shops and 1,045 terminals, and saw £1.4bn gambled last year.
Of the top fifty areas of unemployment, the profit from the terminals was more than £173m last year; by comparison in the 50 constituencies with the lowest levels of unemployment, the bookie’s made just £44m
The gross amount gambled in Bradford West was £ 91,014,560 in 2012.
Bradford West is ranked 9th highest unemployed nationally with 5537 claimants; there are 24 betting shops in the ward with a total of 87 FOBT
The gross amount gambled in Bradford East was £ 49,299,553 in 2012.
Bradford East is ranked 13th highest unemployed nationally with 5486 claimants; there are 13 betting shops in the ward with a total of 47 FOBT
Fixed Odd betting Terminal (FOBT) dubbed the ‘crack cocaine of gambling’ account for a significant amount of this turnover. These machines have been identified as highly addictive as they provide instantaneous casino style gambling and the lure of winning up to £500; studies have shown they are eight times more addictive than other forms of gambling. Punters are able to stake up to £100 on a 20 second spin of the wheel and can use their credit/debit cards to pay. Experts believe this speed of play, known as ‘event frequency’ influences how addictive the machines are.
Between 2006 and 2010 the number of machines doubled from around 16,000 to 32,000. Last year the yield they earned increased by 10%, to £1.3 billion, the terminals account for almost half of betting shops’ profits.
Channel 4’s Dispatches programme (2 012) found William Hill netted an estimated £416million a year profit from fixed-odds betting machines, while Ladbrokes made around £359million, Coral £290million and Paddy Power £41million. Last year their gross gambling yield, a measure of profit before operating costs increased by 5%.
The Gambling Prevalence Survey 2010, a major study of British gambling, found the machines are most popular among young, male, low-income gamblers, particularly the unemployed, as well as students and those from ethnic minorities. This has led bookmakers to concentrate their high-street efforts on poor areas, where there are many such gamblers.
Adrian Parkinson, who worked for the Tote, was involved with launching fixed-odds betting terminals from 1999 until 2008, and authored the study for Fairer Gambling. He said: “Despite what the bookmakers and their supportive MPs say, the proliferation of betting shops is driven by FOBTs, and is focused on the most deprived areas in the UK.”
A further concern is the clustering of betting shops on high streets to maximise the number of FOBTs that can be located and this is facilitated by the current planning laws. Currently, bookmakers can open up in the same premises as a bank, estate agent, pub, takeaway or restaurant without the need for any planning permission. They can request a gaming licence that councils are directed to “aim to permit”.
Local authorities must be able to control the number and influence their location. Councils can already decide that there are too many bars and pubs in a particular area; the same should be the case for betting shops.
David Lammy, MP for Tottenham; has been at the forefront of calling for a change to planning laws to restrict the number of betting establishments on the High Street. An amendment to the Localism Bill was tabled by David Lammy that gave councils new powers to control the number of betting shops on their high streets.
Changing the planning category of betting shops would mean that they are no longer classed alongside banks and building societies (Use Class A2). The amendment would have placed them in a ‘Use Class’ of their own, just like casinos and gaming arcades.
In the UK, it is estimated that around 350,000 people are suffering from a gambling addiction. In recent years, the number of people experiencing problems with gambling has increased due to economic troubles associated with the global recession and an increase in the number of gambling outlets
High-stakes gambling machines ‘suck money from poorest communities’; the profit made from FOBTs is staggering. This is money being taken out of communities and family budgets and is a ruthless, unethical exploitation of the poor and vulnerable at a time of economic downturn.
The DCMS and Gambling Commission are perfectly aware that these high-stakes machines are extremely addictive, attractive to poorer people and heavily concentrated in poorer areas yet are not acting to address this.
For a detailed account of the damage problem gambling does to individuals, families and wider communities (and there are more problem gamblers in the UK than there are Class 1 drug addicts) look at http://usir.salford.ac.uk/2335/ for the gambling and debt study.
The Council Resolves to:
Call for a change in the law to stop betting shops taking over High Streets and have stricter planning rules applied to them to reduce clustering of betting shops in poorer areas.
Call for a curtailing of FOBTs on the high street and for The Gambling Act 2005 to be reviewed in order to prevent expansion of the number of FOBT in betting shops or aim to reduce their numbers in betting establishments.
To demand betting outlets carry warning signs on the negative impact of gambling on individuals, family life and society
To ensure all schools undertake work on gambling addiction and those who are at risk
Greater monitoring of the impact of gambling in Bradford and review of licensing based on this, in particular to monitor the gross amount gambled in Bradford district on a ward basis and aim towards making a reduction in this amount; to set this as a performance indicator
Restrictions on granting any further licenses to betting shops in Bradford and to oppose the development of any more casinos in the district
Allow for community consultations before licenses are permitted away from the city centre.
Similar to section 106 agreements related to development of residential sites there should additional agreements with charges or contributions imposed on the gambling/betting establishments that will go towards inspection and support for gambling addiction services
To take a formal position to oppose legislation aimed at liberalising and deregulating the betting industry
Put pressure on the Government to introduce tougher laws on internet gambling sites that can cause similar gambling addictions and loss of money for the poorest in our communities.
A9. Councillor Karmani It has been brought to my attention that there have been frequent fights and violent incidents at a High School in the City area; in one week four incidents took place of which two required hospitalisation and one incident resulted in injury to a teacher. Parents have expressed serious concerns to me in relation to proliferation of bullying and concerns about the schools ability to manage behaviour and ensure duty of care. What assurances can the portfolio holder maker to reassure parents that these issues are being managed, how are these incidents being monitored and what actions are being undertaken to ensure those schools with more serious issues relating to violence are being supported and root causes are being addressed.?
B8. Councillor Faisal Khan In 2002 Bradford had the largest concentration of unadopted roads (1900) with an estimated bill then of £57million. What is the council doing to allocate funds so that the worst affected roads are repaired to an adoptable standard?
C7. Councillor Faisal Khan How much does the council earn from on-street parking charges within the city centre and how is this money invested back into road safety or incentives to businesses within the centre?
C11. Councillor Karmani Will the leader join in congratulating Bradford City Football Club on their performance in the Capital One Cup in reaching the semi-finals and beating three premier league teams on the way and wish them the best in the future; their cup run has also galvanised support in the city from all section and communities and has supported community cohesion?
C16. Councillor Ahmed Four years ago the first black president of the United States of America was elected – a time of great celebration. A question was then asked of this Council, if America could take a risk with a black president, why was there no representation, at senior management level of the biggest ethnic minority community in Bradford. The answer then had no substance and there was no clear response given. Four years on and with the same black president re-elected there is still no representation at senior level, in a large senior management team, of the biggest ethnic minority community in Bradford, nor has there ever been in the history of Bradford Council. Was the Leader aware of this fact and what does he see as the underlying barriers. In view of the above could the Leader please explain the ethnic profile of the current senior management team and what plans he has to have a more diverse senior management team that includes representation of the largest minority community in Bradford and will there be any progress made in this respect in the near future?
C18. Councillor Shabbir Christmas is once a year event and we would hope that all services are properly organised. However in Heaton there has been a fiasco with refuse collection services with some bins being collected late whilst some have been collected early and causing confusion in the minds of the public. Can the Leader please explain how this happened and make commitments to seeing this won’t happen again?
C20. Councillor Shabbir Will the leader of the Council join me in thanking Osman Gondal, the founder of Intouch Foundation, and the volunteers for their sterling work in providing services and food to homeless people in Bradford. The service has seen a huge take up since its launch on the 31 st of December 2012 and has requests to go to Keighley and Huddersfield?
C21. Councillor Shabbir Isn’t it about time that the leader and his group stop cow tailing the policies of the coalition given that their disastrous polices will be exposed this year and are likely to cause civil unrest as well as increased poverty?
C22. Councillor Ahmed The benefit cuts hit with full force from April 2013, just as the rich get a tax cut; many poor families and hard working families will be hit hardest; what contingency do we have in place to support the most vulnerable in particular those that are likely to slip through the net such as the disabled and minorities?
C23. Councillor Karmani Will the leader lend his support to the local Bradford branch of the Save Shaker Aamer campaign which aims to achieve 100,000 thousand signatures on an e-petition that will ensure his case is discussed in Parliament by 21st April 2013? The Save Shaker Aamer campaign aims to highlight the fact that British resident Shaker Aamer has been imprisoned without trial or charge for over 10 years in Guantanamo; and calls for a new initiative by the Government to secure his release and his return to his British family in the UK, given the worrying concern that his health is now seriously deteriorating to the point that his lawyers have stated that he is gradually dying in Guantanamo. The initiative is being supported nationally by MPs John McDonnell MP and Jeremy Corbyn MP.
C24. Councillor Faisal Khan Can the leader of the council give a detailed report on how many jobs, apprenticeships and work experience placements have been created as a result of the Get Bradford working scheme. Highlighting the demographic, gender and ethnicity profiles of those residents of Bradford that have benefited from the policy to ‘Get Bradford Working’?
C25. Councillor Shabbir In light of reports of gold robberies across the district and notably in my own ward of Heaton, where there have been a spate of violent burglaries will the leader of the council call an urgent meeting of the Bradford Community Safety Partnership to discuss this growing and worrying trend. Will the leader of the Council and deputy leader make this an urgent priority and put in place measures to reassure the public?