After 3 years spent trying to prevent Blue Chip Casinos opening an all night casino in a residential street in my Ward we have this week been notified that the Planning Department has received a planning application for 'an adult amusement centre'right in the centre of the main shopping centre. What, pray tell, is a bloody 'adult amusement centre'? Far be it for me to prejudge an application (but I don't sit on Planning, so I can say what I like anyway) but if it is some sort of sleazy venue more appropriate to Soho or the Arizona desert... they had better settle in for a protracted fight.
On the subject of Casinos, Sandwell Council's Cabinet will today consider whether the Borough should have a 'No Casino' policy. Under the 2005 Gambling Act licensing authorities are able to pass a resolution stating that they will not be issuing any new casino premises licenses. There are already two casinos in Sandwell and frankly, for one of the most deprived Boroughs in England, that is more than enough. The Director of Public Health for Sandwell in his annual report has pointed out the link between poverty and ill-health, and the health statitics for Sandwell clearly demonstrate that. I am confident the Cabinet will support a No Casino policy today and that it will be overwhelmingly passed by Council on 31st October.