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Betting giant Ladbrokes gets the go-ahead to extend opening hours in Hendon
Betting giant Ladbrokes has been given the go-ahead to extend the opening hours of two of its Hendon branches despite protests it will increase anti-social behavior.
Labrokes will change the closing times of its Central Way and Watford Way branches from 10pm to midnight after getting the approval of Barnet Borough Council’s licensing sub-committee today.
Prospective Labour candidate for West Hendon Adam Langleben and Greyhound Hill resident Gerard Roots contested the plans on the grounds that it would contribute to anti-social behavior in the area.
Mr Langleben, who lives in Queens Road, said: “There may be a demand for betting shops but they are making the area quite dirty and quite uncomfortable to walk through.
“I’m not a big bloke and so I find it quite intimidating walking past these shops at night when there are people loitering outside them.”
But Julia Palmer, a solicitor representing Ladbrokes, dismissed their concerns as “not relevant representations” and said Barnet police would have attended the meeting if they had serious concerns about anti-social behaviour.
The Ladbrokes branches are just a short distance apart and other betting chains are also in close proximity including Paddy Power, Coral and Bet Fred.
After taking time to consider their verdict the sub-committee announced they were in favour of amending Ladbrokes' premises licences for both branches.
Speaking after the meeting Mr Langleben said: “We’re disappointed – this is not going to help the area.
“On the A41 you have fast food restaurants, bookies, and payday lenders with the occasional off-licence open until 2am. Hendon Central just keeps on going downhill and the council isn’t helping stop that slide.
“I think the council should follow other local authorities and challenge the increasing uptake of gambling shops like Newham Council is doing. Newham has 82 betting shops, which it decided is enough, but Barnet is only four behind with 78 - it's now the top four in London for gambling shops."
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