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Councillor’s warning over Morley betting shop plan

Coun Neil Dawson.
Coun Neil Dawson.

A second William Hill betting shop in Morley town centre could be a bad influence on the area’s children, a councillor has warned.

The firm has submitted a planning application to Leeds City Council to open a second branch at the former Clinton Cards in Windsor Court.
Coun Neil Dawson said that location was regularly passed by children on their way to The Morley Academy, Morley Leisure Centre and shops and other other facilities in the town centre.
Regular children’s and family events are organised in the precinct and surrounding area during the summer.
“I do not consider it appropriate to have a licenced betting shop in such a prominent location within the town centre as children are a vulnerable group who can be unduly influenced to become more aware of a gambling premise in the heart of the town,” he said.

“This area is extensively used by children who pass through to go to other facilities in the town, this includes many children going to Morley Academy, going shopping at local supermarkets and attending events at Morley Leisure Centre and Morley Town Hall.

“In addition a number of children’s events, children’s rides and other leisure activities, are promoted in Windsor Court by Morley Town Council and others to attract children and families into the area. I do not consider it appropriate to have a licenced betting shop in such a prominent location within the town centre as children are a vulnerable group who can be unduly influenced to become more aware of a gambling premise in the heart of the town.”

Coun Dawson added that as betting shops are classed as a financial and profession activity for planning purposes and the number of banks and building societies close to Windsor Court meant the area already had enough.

“It would be preferable to have a retail development that fits with the traditional character and ambience of Windsor Court,” he said.