Procrastination Committee Strikes Again!

23 November 2018

Norwich City Council is being criticised by a Green councillor for having a gambling statement which is illegally out-of-date. Councillor David Raby, who has previously referred to the city council’s Licensing Committee as the ‘procrastination committee’ remains disappointed that the Licensing department at City Hall appears to be understaffed and unable to cope with the amount of work it has to do.

At a council meeting next Tuesday, Councillor Raby will ask the Chair of Licensing what progress has been made on the council’s Gambling Statement of Principles, which was last updated in 2007 and is expected to be reviewed every three years.

Councillor Raby said:

“I’m disappointed that the council’s gambling statement hasn’t been updated, even though I was told this would be done as a priority a year or so ago. Without an up-to-date statement, it is more difficult for the council to limit the proliferation of gambling premises across the city. We’re all well aware, now, of the dangers of gambling and the council needs to take appropriate action to keep people safe. 

“In addition, I’m concerned that the Licensing Department, which shouldbe able to fund itself, appears to be under-resourced and unable to keep up with demand. The council – and national government – need to make sure that resources are appropriate to cover the amount of work necessary.

Notes:

The question Councillor Raby will ask at the city council meeting is:

 “I’m disappointed that the council’s gambling statement hasn’t been updated, even though I was told this would be done as a priority a year or so ago. Without an up-to-date statement, it is more difficult for the council to limit the proliferation of gambling premises across the city. We’re all well aware, now, of the dangers of gambling

Councillor Raby:

At November’s full council meeting last year, I asked the Chair of the Licensing Committee when the council’s out of date gambling statement of policies would be updated. May I remind the Chair that Norwich City Council’s Gambling Statement of Principles was last updated in 2007, even though the Gambling Commission expressly tells councils that it should be “reviewed at least every three years”. 

I am disappointed that over the last year there seems to have been no progress made on this important policy statement which could allow councillors to limit the proliferation of gambling premises across the city, especially in some of the most deprived communities.  In answer to my question in November 2017, the Chair of Licensing expressly said that she had asked that “the council’s gambling statement of principles be updated as a priority.” “A timetable for when the new statement of principles will be completed during 2018” was also requested by the Chair of Licensing. Given that we are now a year on from when I originally raised this question, could I urgently ask the Chair what the progress on this very important matter is, and why this does not seem to have been prioritised as originally promised.






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