Betfred blocked in Deptford

Deptford Dame reports that bookies Betfred have lost their appeal against Lewisham Council's decision not to let them open convert a former branch of Halifax in to a bookmaker. The Dame has chronicled the gradual spread of high street bookies in Deptford over recent years and says of this result:

This is excellent news for Deptford High Street, but I hope that this decision will also set a precedent for other areas which are experiencing similar levels of crime and disorder related to proliferation of betting shops. It seems to me that it should also have some resonance for the decision-making process relating to licensing of betting shops - where potential impact on crime and disorder are supposed to be considered.

Meanwhile, Monkeyboy points out that the Guardian's forecasting a resurgence of high street butchery. Could butchers be the new betting shops? Not really, but independent businesses that offer quality, expertise and local engagement have a bright future on London's high streets, so long as they can find a point of difference to compete with the chains.

81 comments:

Hugh is ... in said...

What's wrong with bookies?

I Broccoli Brockley said...

Hmmm... 10-1 that's not the last we'll hear from Betfred.

Anonymous said...

About time they started doing the same with Tesco.

Matt-Z said...

Great news for Deptford. It's be even better if one of the pubs were to reopen, there is surely pent up demand. A good opportunity for Antic perhaps? Would have suggested Capital but now they are Greene King I'm not so sure.

Brockley Nick said...

I imagine Antic already consider they have the area covered via the Royal Albert.

Anonymous said...

A coffee shop would be great.

Yep, not a coffee coffee shop, a coffee shop.

Lou Baker said...

It is deeply concerning that a combination of nimbys and bureaucrats have stopped a legitimate business from opening. Jobs that could have been created now won't be.

The market is a far better judge of whether a business is needed or not than a pen pusher. It'll scare legit companies away - with the likely outcome that Deptford will remain a delightful mix of crap takeaways, charity shops, uninspiring stores and drug dealers.

mb said...

sigh......

Lou, the reason why it was rejected was precisley BECAUSE it attracts crime and perhaps perpetuates the areas problems.

Deptford has a great market, it could be even better if it wasn't so blighted by shops that prey on the desperate.

Anonymous said...

Wow,it would have created 4 jobs LB.

Lady GaGa said...

Exactly it would only have created 4 jobs The same number of jobs probably lost every day through a gambling addiction that also causes the loss of homes and families as well.

Lou Baker said...

Gaga by name and by nature.

It is all well and good for pinkos, with a job, to sneer at those without one.

But 4 jobs is 4 jobs. 4 out of work people have been denied the chance of a job by 'do-gooders' and pen pushers.

Gambling is bad. Whine, whine, whine.

No, gambling is only bad when you're addicted to it. A little flutter never hurt anyone.

And people with addictive personalities will end up addicted to something. If it's not gambling it'll be cigarettes, alcohol or drugs.

Leave your moral preaching for the church and other religious bigots and leave business to business.

insider said...

a completely free market economy is not the way forward.

max said...

Only that just about any other business will results in 4 jobs so if betting shops are not allowed to outbid all other potential businesses something else will be there instead.

It's a matter of planning and licensing Lou, there are areas that are blighted by an over-abundance of betting shops because they are those that will pay more for the space on the high street, but local residents have the right to want something better for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Me thinks Portland Bookmakers. Losing an application to the council was no deterrent.

They will open by hook or by crook.

Brockley Nick said...

Anon, that's not fair to Portland, unlike Betfred, they did win their appeal and opened on that basis.

Making it easy for lou said...

I'm thinking of opening a hard core porn shop opposite a primary school. It will have lurid posters displaying it's contents. Theres a Market for it.

I'm opening an abattoir on a residential road, it will be smelly and have any lorries delivering at all hours. Plenty of jobs.

I'm thinking of opening a fog horn test facility, let's sweep away any consultation, if you don't like it. Move

You see Lou?

No, you dont

Anonymous said...

How many jobs would there be from the fog horn test facility?

Lou Baker said...

@making it easy

I suspect you are an expert in hard core porn - I am not, but I doubt you'll be allowed to put posters in the window.

And you'd be a complete dimwit to want to open an abattoir or fog horn testing facility on a high street. You'd pay a premium for location you don't need so you'd go out of business pretty quickly.

Which is why such businesses don't open on the high street.

If you believe Max then there are dozens of local entrepreneurs with bags of cash waiting to open delis or boutiques instead.

If you believe reality there aren't any such entrepreneurs at the moment. The premises will likely sit empty for months - perhaps years - and if it is used it'll be for a charity shop or some George style social experiment.

Which is a lose, lose for everyone.

A bookmaker is a legal business. Not the sort of business I'm interest in, but legal nonetheless.

Just because some moral puritans believe they are better than everyone else, it is not a reason to block a legal business from opening. No one has to gamble. And anyone who wants to gamble will still be able to gamble elsewhere. What this does is simply deny choice for people who choose to gamble.

And limiting choice is never a good thing.

Anonymous said...

@17:27

Sorry what was that?

I can't hear you.

TM said...

Fog horns are no longer in use due to GPS.

Iunderstand lighthouses may go the same way.

Which is a shame.

George Hallam said...

Any of you economists out there familiar with the concept of 'option cost'?

(That's 'option', not 'opportunity', by the way.)

It may be relevant to this debate.

Lady GaGa said...

Goodness I hit a raw open nerve with Lou there, he really bit that bait. Interesting though that he assumes I'm an employed pinko, religious bigoted zealot - is that not him? Or am I sterotyping ?

John said...

Lou,

I generally agree with everything you've said. However, the bookies do attract crime and for me, from a rational perspective, this is the problem not the gambling. I'd like to see all the bookies go but I suppose that's because I don't gamble. I drink alcohol and some people would like to see the back of a lot of pubs etc. because of their impact on society. However, I don't drink excessively, nor do I act like an idiot after drinking. I therefore would never agree to the prohibition of alcohol but I would oppose a licence renewal at a pub where there were anti-social problems.

max said...

Lou, no one would surely pay as much as a betting shop can.

Any potential entrepeneur would only pay for a space on the high street an amount that's commesurate to the profit they'd be able to generate, that in most places would never be as much as that of a betting shops.

So, what's the solution?
Bow to the free-market-talibans or use licensing powers to allow someone else the chance to open a business?

mb said...

Lou.... you really dont get it do you. In your world I could open a 24hr pub that sells alchopops and play music at full pelt opposite your house and there would nothing you could do about it.

The local traders and residents don't want a betting shop because of the crime and disorder it attracts. That why it was rejected, not because of the morality or not of betting. Do pay attention.

Lou Baker said...

@max

If your argument were true there would be nothing but betting shops on any high street. If they can pay more than anyone else why does any other store at all exist?

The answer is simple. There is simply not enough demand for every single shop to be a betting shop. There is a limited demand which is why there is a limited number of betting shops. Betfred would not significantly expand the market. If you don't bet now the chances are you won't just because Betfred has opened down the road. What it provides is existing gamblers with more of a choice. They can choose Betfred instead of Ladbrokes or instead of William Hill. The consumer gets more of a choice and that raises standards.

@mb

Again your argument is flawed and spurious. Pubs are legal businesses - they are allowed to open, even in residential areas. But they are expected to behave responsibly. If they do not they can lose their licence. So, to protect residents, they are not permitted to play loud music 24 hours a day or to sell booze to 4 year olds. That's common sense.

But what's happened here is not that a legitimate business has had legitimate restrictions put on it. Here a legitimate business has been completely prevented from opening in the first place. Not all pubs play loud music all night and not all bookies attract crime. Your assertion that Betfred would specifically attract criminals is one I hope you are able to back up - should Betfred's lawyers ever read your tripe.

Mb said...

Yes Lou, the state puts restrictions on the actions of a business. The Market only does not decide how loud they play their music or how long they open, it also allows those affected to make representations to the regulators. That's the point. I have not issue with bookies as such, the traders (Market stalls, the purest form of free Market there is) did, they live with several on the high street,, the regulators (who presumably also regulate pubs) agreed. Let me know if you want a venn diagram or other visual aid.

Lou Baker said...

@mb

No aid required thanks. I understand how it happened. I am just pointing out that it's wrong.

And the irony of market traders complaining about "crime." I suspect the vast majority of market traders are barely acquainted with that thing we call tax and many flog knocked off or fake goods.

Thank god they're now advising us on law enforcement.

In other news the Pope explains how to be a good Muslim.

Mb said...

.....and the police. The police agreed. Why would the police express a view on a particular business? Free apples? ;-)

Lou Baker said...

Because the police are bureaucratic, incompetent and lazy.

The don't tackle real criminals and real crime.

Consequently, it's easier to object in the first place - to convince the gullible masses that you're doing something.

When, actually, you are not.

max said...

Why aren't there even more betting shops since they can outbid anyone?

Well, they are to a degree restricted by licensing.
A major mistake of the last Labour government was to loosen up these restrictions, now there's a risk that they become even looser (link ).

Under the previous legislation operators had to prove a lack in demand to obtein a licence, this was removed, the result was the expansion we saw, but they haven't finished expanding, unchecked they'd swallow even more portions of the high street. Just like Fried Chicken shops have done.

As long as there is a betting shop around the demand is met, if there are two then they'll have to compete for the customers, that should be enough. If gamblers want a better offer they can travel, if you allow betting shop to compete on the high street unchecked they'll transform many high streets in betting shops parades.
Those high streets to suffer more will be those where there is higher density of population and low incomes that can't sustein a retail that can compete with the high yealds of betting shops.

It's a perfect recipe to transform difficult urban environments in crime-ridden holes.

I'd also say that they are largely only interested in the most desirable units on the high street, exactly those units that either boost a high street with a worthy establishment or sink a high street when a bookie opens there and attracts the usual crowd of layabouts.
But that's not always true, they can settle for lesser units if nothing better is available.

So, personally I'd return to the old rule where the local authority can deny a licence because the demand is already met.

Mb said...

Great, thanks Lou, that's cleared that up.

Personally I think it's the free fruit.

NAT said...

Lou hasn't been to Deptford High Street!

Lou Baker said...

I have been Deptford High Street.

It's dump.

An extra bookies will make no difference.

Gaunt Badger said...

L Baker is right. Deptford is a dump.
But it's a very nice dump, unlike Lewisham, which is a nasty dump.
Or New Cross Gate, which is a nasty dump too.
Or Peckham, which is worse.
Followed by the the Old Kent Road, which is a terrible place.

I wish I didn't live in this area.
It's a lawless mess driven by wilful ignorance and thuggery.
The stupid are the majority here.
That's why it's a good place for a bookies - the stupid man's broker.

NAT said...

It's a dump, these people are idiot's. The police are crap.

Same old Lou

It worries me that people come on here and feel they have to preface their remarks with 'While I usually agree with Lou...'

If you've been to Deptford high street, how many bookies do you think there actually are are there?

Mb said...

Hmmm... The self loathing. Almost catholic in it's intensity.

You both live here, is that because the Market has dictated that you live in a "dump" ?

Just wondered if the wisdom of the market extends to you or do you sore above it all like a.....pigeon?

NAT said...

Okay Lou me ol' son, time to google is over and it has six; and speaking as a betting man (quite like Cill Rialaig to fill fourth spot in the Ebor} I find that unusual for a high street of its size.

I notice that you're very keen on private space, bonfire smoke coming into your garden and so forth but the public realm seems not for you, perhaps because it has the word 'public' in it.

Just out of interest your parents didn't subscribe to 'The Morning Star' and wear courdroy now did they?

(And not just for their excellent racing tipster who increased sales in the sixties to such an extent that Moscow went into paroxysmms}

Lou Baker said...

@NAT

I thought there were 5 bookies on Deptford High Street. But I just went down it on Google Street View and could only see 3. Maybe I missed the others amongst all the classy pound shops, dodgy takeaways, crappy supermarkets and pawnbrokers. I'll make sure I count next time I wander along it - I'll also count the drug dealers too, I know which will be higher.

And, yes, I say things like they are. If that offends you, hard luck. That's a problem with you - not me.

@MB

I live in a nice bit of Telegraph Hill. I wouldn't live here if it was a dump. But Deptford High Street, Lewisham, Peckham Rye - they are all dumps. You can recognise that and try to improve them or you can live in denial.

NAT said...

'Paroxysms' before the pedants come in en masse

NAT said...

No offence at all. I just feel sorry for those gullible enough to find authority in your trenchant ill thought through pronouncements.

Mc Donnells, Coral, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, Bestbetting, William Hill.

Six.

Enough already.

Unlike you I value and respect where I live. What on earth are you doing here?

Mb said...

" You can recognise that and try to improve them or you can live in denial."

Eh? Well yes Lou, we can try to improve them. Sensible planning can do that. You seem to be writing them off as inherently rubbish. It has bad apects and also good aspects. Visit on a Saturday, it's bustling. People engaging in the business of spending and making money.

Stop being the awful pessimist, you sometimes claim to be on the side of those struggling. Well they shop there, in those pound shops. When you dump on those shops you dump on them.

NAT said...

Lou, 'try to improve them', you're suggestion is to add another betting shop

Daily Mail fallback when arguement hopelessly lost and all at sea 'Holier Than Thou'

(Works most of the time}

max said...

" You can recognise that and try to improve them or you can live in denial."

OMG! Lou has finally turned himself upon himself by way of a circular argument of denial.

NAT said...

Sorry Max. What does that mean?

max said...

It means that he's been so keen to speak in support of the free-market as the only solution that he ended up by declaring the exact opposite i.e. that people should intervene when they identify that something is going wrong, and in this occasion what's wrong is the commercial property market.

NAT said...

I'm sorry. I must be a bit dim. Lost on me I'm afraid. He was quite keen on another bookies and not at all on the drug dealers who use these as cover.

I cant remember anything about the commercial property market.

But then you may well be taking his jaundiced rants a little too seriosly.

Are you?

max said...

Am I taking him too seriously?
Maybe, all I know is that I enjoy arguing with Lou. And occasionally he's even almost right.

NAT said...

aaaaaaaargh. Not capitalised because it's just a little private one.

Deptford dame said...

Betting shops are only allowed to occupy those premises which are designated 'A2' use (financial 'services' which include banks, building societies, estate agents, pawn shops etc) of which there are a limited number on the high street. Most of our premises are designated for retail use, which cannot be changed to any other designation. That's why we don't have whole parades of betting shops, nothing to do with so-called demand. If it was only about 'consumer choice', that would not explain why some companies have multiple premises on the same street. The reason is it offers the opportunity to install additional fixed odds betting terminals, the gambling machines that generate the majority of the income for bookie shops. The law restricts each betting shop to a maximum of four, because of the recognised addictive nature of them.

Personally I love living in Deptford - sure it has its flaws, just like anywhere else - but I recognise it's not for everyone. Those of us who love living here are doing our best to support local businesses, sustain the immensely strong community that exists, and keep our high street and market alive so that others have the chance to discover it too, and perhaps come to love it. I don't really see what's wrong with that, and neither do I feel the need to slag off other neighbourhoods, I'm not really sure what the value of that is.

Hugh is ... cool said...

Loving the way I bossed the entire thread with my opening salvo.

Lorna J said...

Kind of pointless commenting after the stream of comments however..... Bookies do not encourage crime or antisocial behaviour. There is no police evidence of this, purely anecdotal suggestion of "dramatic" local residents. I have worked in a bookmakers, I have lived in South East London my entire life in a wide range of social areas. Deptford High Street has not seen the upturn of other local areas such as Brockley and will struggle to do so. The market has a couple of gems, but is largely pound shops, mobile phone shops and other crap. And absolutely, we don't need another bookmaker but we do need investment from decent businesses. The area has problems and these are not going to improve or be made worse by a bookmaker. But I digress.

People who frequent bookmakers are not drug dealing crime barons. They are just people who like to have a bet.

I await the barrage.

max said...

"And absolutely, we don't need another bookmaker but we do need investment from decent businesses. The area has problems and these are not going to improve or be made worse by a bookmaker."

Yes matters are made worse by another bookmaker, that's the whole point.

If bookmakers establish themselves on a high street then other investment cannot happen where they are because they are the most profitable business in a low income area.
They are therefore a deterrent to other investments.
And if six prominent units are occupied by bookmakers then they are determining the feel of the area and deterring investment in the remaining units.
A seventh would make matters marginally worse, why shouldn't it? Because it's Deptford?

Headhunter said...

Not much to say here anyomore except that the free market is certainly NOT the way to define use on high streets and 7 betting shops in Deptford?! Frankly that's just ridiculous, I sincerely hope that Betfred is NOT able to win some kind of appeal.

I bear no patricular grudge against betting shop customers but as Max points out 7 betting shops along 1 short high street prevents any other use and discourages investment by other types of potential shop owners, simply due to the concentration of a certain type of customer brought into the area by a predmonminance of betting shops.... In short, 7 betting shops removes diversity or potential future diversity.

Anonymous said...

Lorna, that's the point isn't it? it's not 'A' bookmakers. It's yet another bookmakers. I like pubs, i used to like clubs. A road full of pubs and clubs would be chaos.

Balance, that's all.

mk said...

@Lou "You can recognise that and try to improve them or you can live in denial."

Isn't that what this whole issue is about? It seems pretty clear that this is a victory for those trying to "improve" Deptford.

Anonymous said...

Lorna J said: "Bookies do not encourage crime or antisocial behaviour. There is no police evidence of this, purely anecdotal suggestion of "dramatic" local residents."

They may not be encouraging it, but the evidence was that they give rise to it. You may regard the evidence as being given by "dramatic" local residents, but that was not how the inspector viewed it - I presume you read the Inspector's report.

The Report said that "Both the Sergeant for the New Cross Safer Neighbourhood Team and the Licensing Officer oppose the
proposal. The position ‘on the ground’ is confirmed by the Police in terms of complaints about existing premises and of harassment, alarm and distress
caused to the public by beggars, drinkers and drug users. The Sergeant believes that another such venue would add to crime in the area."

Are you contending that the police had no evidence for their view and that they, too, were being "dramatic" ?

Lou Baker said...

@mk

How is it a victory for those trying to improve Deptford?

What is going there instead?

The ludicrous planning rules mean it can't be anything useful like a cafe or a restaurant - without change of use.

It won't be a bank.

So - if it's anything - it'll be a pawnbroker.

Thank god.

Depfordians can flog off their nicked goods so they can have a flutter in one of the other bookies instead.

Some victory.

Anonymous said...

Lou is a horrible twerp isn't he? imagine being subjected to one of his rants a pub? I imagine backing away while being sprayed with flecks of half chewed pork scratching as he whines about the breakdown of law and order and the scum from Deptford.

Sad little man.

max said...

No, he's just not a very good loser.
Word of advice Lou, stay away from the betting shop, it's bad for your pressure.

Cod Psychologist said...

In the words of Blur, Lou should..

"..Feed the Pigeons, I Sometimes Feed the Sparrows Too, It Gives Me a Sense of Enormous Wellbeing"

Instead it's

"I beat the needy, I sometimes snear at the penniless too. It gives me an sense of enormous superiority"

Lou Baker said...

Sticks and stones may break the windows of JD Sport and enable you intolerable chavs to nick trainers, but your words will never hurt me.

Love, Lou.


(Oh, no, wait. There is no JD Sport in Deptford. Perhaps you can all go looting with your pinko friends in Peacocks instead).

This will set him RIGHT off. said...

The one think about loosing it is that the the person betrays his true charecter rather than pretending to be a reasonable, sane human being.

an 'intolerable chav'. No Lou, I just don't think Deptford would benefit from yet another betting shop. Those who live and earn there living there, the police who deal with issues, there together with the legal body who arbitrate, agree.

Screaming line a loon just diminishes your rather flabby argument.

Now run along, the grownups are talking.

max said...

Lou, truth is that you've exposed the limits of your free-market dogmatism and at the end contradicted yourself because your argument didn't have anywhere to go.
You've battered yourself with a big stick and you've got nobody else to blame but yourself.

Lou Baker said...

@max

Please. I have lost nothing.

I have explained why it is bad for bureaucrats to be in charge of rejecting legitimate business.

Yes, it would be lovely to have a restaurant instead. But there won't be one of those.

Indeed, you and your Trotskyite friends have failed to explain exactly what will be there instead of a betting shop.

You have failed to explain why 7 betting shops is worse than 6.

You have failed to explain how rejecting legitimate business will be the catalyst for the regeneration Deptford desperately needs.

You have failed to produce evidence for your libellous claims linking bookies with crime.

You have failed to explain how a pen-pusher in Catford is best placed to decide what's in the best interests of competition on Deptford High Street.

When Lewisham Council has clearly done a piss poor job of managing most of its high streets for as long as anyone can remember, you fail to explain why you suddenly think this time it's different.

Almost everywhere you look in Lewisham - aside may be from Blackheath and a small splattering in Brockley - the shops are crap. This is a borough which has clearly failed to attract the sort of businesses - both small and large - which are common place in boroughs like Islington, Wandsworth, Houslow, Ealing - even Southwark.

I think that's because there is too much council interference, not enough vision, an immense lack of ambition and - it must be said - a large number of residents who wear cords and sandals. Together.

I am all too often a lone voice for reason in this island of Barrys.

Business is good. It creates wealth, opportunity and activity. Social experiments are bad. They create decay, poverty and idleness.

You are firmly on the side of the latter.

Anonymous said...

This has all the makings of another ELL like debacle.

At no point has anyone said they are anti business, just anti another business of which there are already several on the same stretch of road.

If your going to get obsessive at least get your facts straight.

Now if you don't mind, Big Mac, medium fries please.

Eric blair said...

Except for the parts managed well by lewisham, like blackheath, lewisham have done badly.

The ability to hold two entirely contradictory notions in ones head at the same time, doublethink. Or possibly stupidity.

mk said...

@lou "The ludicrous planning rules mean it can't be anything useful like a cafe or a restaurant - without change of use."

You mean it won't be anything useful for *you* and what *you* would like to see the space become.

You are not Deptford Lou. You are plenty of other things, but certainly not Deptford.

max said...

Lou, show some dignity.

max said...

Lou, here's my comprehensive reply, it's in two comments because it's too long to be posted as one.

@max

Please. I have lost nothing.


Charlie Sheen is also a winner. Or so he says of himself.

I have explained why it is bad for bureaucrats to be in charge of rejecting legitimate business.

No, you only ranted and made sweeping generalizations.

Yes, it would be lovely to have a restaurant instead. But there won't be one of those.

Why not? Deptford has some very interesting places, tomorrow I'll be going there to buy fish, it has the best fishmonger south of the river, all as good as the one at Borough market.
Your dismissal of the potential of Deptford is pure snobism.

Indeed, you and your Trotskyite friends have failed to explain exactly what will be there instead of a betting shop.

Whatever. They'll lower the asking price for the unit until it's affordable for a buisness that is susteinable in the Deptford economy.

You have failed to explain why 7 betting shops is worse than 6.

I'll make it easy. Imagine they're cakes, 6 cakes are constipation, 7 cakes are cardiac arrest.

You have failed to explain how rejecting legitimate business will be the catalyst for the regeneration Deptford desperately needs.

Betting shops are not catalysts for regeneration and people with a gambling habit/addiction/problem don't need a marketplace of gambling on their doorstep.

And please spare me the platitudes like the "regeneration Deptford desperately needs", you sound like a fake politician.

Betting shops are sad, sad, sad. I have eyes, we all know what they look like.

A few people can place the occasional bet and enjoy themselves, and that's all that's good that can be said about them.

Scores of people are actually ruined by gambling so a tight regulation to avoid that too many people fall into the habit is something I support.

You have failed to produce evidence for your libellous claims linking bookies with crime.

I only said that they're attract layabouts, and I was only apeing you by using one of your favourite words in case you hadn't noticed, still it's true, they attract a lot of layabouts and although it is very likely that a lot of them are just wasting their day at the betting shops some will be up to no good and just in between criminal jobs. That's just a fact of life, isn't it?

max said...

Part two.

You have failed to explain how a pen-pusher in Catford is best placed to decide what's in the best interests of competition on Deptford High Street.

Because he has a mandate to represent the interest of the local community.

When Lewisham Council has clearly done a piss poor job of managing most of its high streets for as long as anyone can remember, you fail to explain why you suddenly think this time it's different.

You half a point but you are also having your cake and eating it. Trade is ultimately down to the traders, not the Council, which in general is not a big interventionist at all.

Almost everywhere you look in Lewisham - aside may be from Blackheath and a small splattering in Brockley - the shops are crap. This is a borough which has clearly failed to attract the sort of businesses - both small and large - which are common place in boroughs like Islington, Wandsworth, Houslow, Ealing - even Southwark.

That's just a consideration on the economic condition of the various different parts of the borough, where there are money shops are better than elsewhere where there aaren't much money.
Note that the same consideration is true for all the places you mention as examples, they all have their better off and worse off areas. I even remember you waying that one end of Islington is great and the other end is awful, so if that's true there why souldn't it be true for everywhere else.

I think that's because there is too much council interference, not enough vision, an immense lack of ambition and - it must be said - a large number of residents who wear cords and sandals. Together.

I am all too often a lone voice for reason in this island of Barrys.


Ok, this is just sily. But if you're writing a comedy routing it's probably quite good. Don't take my word though, try it with a proper audience.

Business is good. It creates wealth, opportunity and activity. Social experiments are bad. They create decay, poverty and idleness.

Unless they're the social experiments you like, like abolishing the NHS or stuff like that of course.

You are firmly on the side of the latter.

If by the latter you mean not on the side of a dogmatic acceptance that unregulated free-market is the single bullet solution to the ills of the world then yes I am.

I've got better things to do than... said...

Why does anyone bother to respond to the rants of Lou Baker? He (or she) is like a toddler, I'm sure he/she posts only to get get a reaction and attention.
Lots of other people post with far more intelligent comments and are capable of having a discussion without being so bloody minded and their comments are the ones I enjoy reading. I think there should be a programme called "The only way is Lou".

LadyGaGa said...

No he should be in "The only way is Essex " starring as himself !

As for his views way back that a harmless flutter only turns you into a gambler unless you have an addictive personality,(like with drink and drugs) I'd like to see him stand by those views after a trip to GA or AA.

NAT said...

Max. Whilst I normally agree with Lou, I'm warming to you after that last post.

Sue said...

Lou said:
"The ludicrous planning rules mean it can't be anything useful like a cafe or a restaurant - without change of use.

It won't be a bank.

So - if it's anything - it'll be a pawnbroker."

Not necessarily so. While you need planning permission to go 'up' a use (eg A1 to A2 or A3), A2-6 properties can revert back to A1 use (general retail) without any planning permission for change of use required. And if someone came up with a proposal for a cafe or restaurant, they could apply for change of use just the same as others so frequently do and, in the vast majority of cases, permission is granted.

Tamsin said...

What is ludicrous about the planning system is the exent that it is scewed in favour of the applicant.

One does not want any nimby able to put the stoppers on a development, bu,t with there only being a right of appeal from a decision to refuse an application, prudent Councils, with an eye to the costs of the appeal process, are pre-disposed to grant permission even when there might be grounds for refusal.

lb said...

You should also note that the current "government" is trying to put through changes which mean that planning law will be weighted strongly in favour of development, although this is probably more of an immediate concern in areas with vulnerable green belt.

On the flipside, local communities (whatever the Tory strategists think they are) will have far more opportunity to influence development, supposedly. I'm not enthused by their proposals to enable this via panels of self-selecting amateurs, but there may be more chances to regulate development locally as a result.

Lou Baker said...

@sue

Joy. So it may not be a pawnbroker. It may be a pound shop! Fabulous. Max will be able to pick up a bargain.

@max

I'm not sure why you think I want to abolish the NHS - I want it reformed so it serves the interests of patients and not of doctors and nurses - but the general principle behind the NHS is basically sound.

This boils down to one core issue. Who is best placed to decide what is best for us. Us? Or councillors and officials?

Officials who, all too often, work for the council because they're not good enough to work in the private sector. Councillors who, all too often, are elected with a few hundred votes?

I know that I know how to spend my money far better than any bureaucrat can. I know that. Because I know the 50% of my money that I keep goes on stuff that is useful for me. And of the 50% that goes in taxes, large amounts are wasted on completely unnecessary rubbish.

People are not fools. (Although many of you on this forum suggest this is not true). People know what is best for them. We do not need a nannying state to tell us. And those who do need a nannying state - tough, they should take some individual responsibility.

It is a sad day when a council rejects a legitimate business- even if it's a business you choose not to like. Because businesses create wealth and councils sap it.

Anonymous said...

Yawn..... Old arguments badly put.

max said...

Lou, you appear to have only one idea.

And the beauty of this idea is that it allows you to exhonerate yourself from giving any value judgement on anything.

The market, the wisdom of the man of the street about what to do with his hard earned money will decide for the best.

Now, as it happens a lot of people decide to invest their money in crak and heroin. How about that? Doesn't it make you think that your one idea may have a flaw?

NAT said...

Know what? I found another betting shop!

William Hill have two outlets on the same street.

The other is by the pie and mash shops at the northern end.

There are seven.

Betfred were proposing an eighth

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