Tuesday, 13 May 2008

MARGATE'S ARCADES IN TROUBLE

Our North Thanet MP has been trying to get the Government to look at unintended consequences of the latest Gaming Act for some time now. Whilst Ezekiel and his crew might be happy for the 'cafe society' at the Old Town end of Margate to get attention and TDC funding galore, Marine Terrace continues to expire. Here is what Roger was saying about it yesterday in Parliament:

PRESS RELEASE
Roger Gale M.P.

12 May, 2008.

Seaside Amusement Arcades - MP Challenges Minister
North Thanet`s MP Roger Gale has this (Monday) afternoon challenged DCMS Minister of State Gerry Sutcliffe to swiftly reverse government decisions damaging the interests of seaside amusement arcades or see more of these facilities close.
Speaking at question time in the House of Commons Roger Gale said:
"I am sure that it was not the intention of the Minister of State who took the Gambling Act through committee (Dick Caborn) to damage the interests of the seaside towns but the fact of the matter is that even as we speak the arcades that are a vital part of our wet-weather tourist facilities are closing. If the Minister does not act in time for this season it will be too late.”
Responding, Gerry Sutcliff said that he was meeting the Trade Organisation (BACTA) today and that he hoped to announce a decision in the near future.
Commenting after the exchange Roger Gale said.
"The intent behind the legislation was to control the spread of high-value High Street Adult Gaming Centres. The impact upon controlling what were already very modest stakes has been to damage industry that is very valuable to East Kent. Successful businessmen like David Cain, with outlets in Herne Bay and Margate, and machine manufacturers and dealers like Harry Levy`s business in Margate and Cromptons, one of the oldest companies in the game, are facing very serious financial situations.
The irony is that we have seen a growth in the number of betting shops now offering gaming machine facilities and Canterbury City, which denied Herne Bay the opportunity to seek a casino license that might have contributed to the reconstruction of the pier, now has gaming facilities within yards of Canterbury Cathedral!
We need the Minister to act and to act immediately."

4 comments:

Peter Checksfield said...

While no-one is perfect, I believe Roger Gale is someone who genuinely cares & does his best for the area.

Ian J said...

With reference to Canterbury City Council, it has been clear to me that this body has obstructed various schemes and plans to encourage growth in surrounding areas with the intention of syphoning off the inward investment towards itself, to the detrement of surrounding towns and villages.
The irony is that having created areas of poverty around it's self it now has the problem that these very areas are now a source of cheap labour and services, causing unemployment amoungst it own population, and it own high prices can only push it own inhabitents out, speeding it's own desent into an empty husk of a city requented only by tourist and low pay service industry day workers.

Michael Child said...

I believe what lies behind this is clever lobbying of national government by the big casino chains to get gamblers to out of town casinos, just as I think the smoking ban was about closing down the small pubs to get us to use the big chain pub eateries or our sad planning laws closing down town centre shop and leisure facilities.

Don’t get me wrong here, this isn’t about the winging of a small shopkeeper, this is about the wanton destruction of our towns, our living environment. I have boycotted spending money out of town since last November and if you wish to live in a town or village and not a housing estate with interesting architecture I would urge you to do the same.

Bertie Biggles said...

Peter, I absolutely agree with you; a fine bloke.

Michael is spot on about supporting our local High Streets before we lose them. if you can buy it locally do so. With car fuel what it is, is a Westwood Cross shop really any cheaper for many items?