By Carolina Ciro
Islington council are limiting the number of betting, payday loan shops and take-aways opening in the borough.
Last week housing leader Cllr James Murray passed the supplementary planning document, or SPD, at an executive meeting at the town hall.
This was due to a rising concern in the growing number of fast food and gambling shops setting up on high streets, particularly when they are over-concentrated in a certain area.
Deputy Leader of the Council and Labour ward for Junction, Janet Burgess, told the Holloway Express: “We have a considerable number of betting shops up there. It’s a real problem because how many betting shops do you need?
“They are normally and interestingly concentrated in areas of high deprivation so in other words, people who don’t have much money are being tempted to spend lots of money on gambling which is clearly not very good if you don’t have a lot of money.”
She added that takeaways can have a negative impact on the health of the local population, especially children.
“In terms of fast food, limiting the amount of fast food outlets you can have out there near places like schools and nurseries because they are not very healthy,” she said.
But Dolly Essence, a 24-year-old waitress at the African-Caribbean take-away Sweet Handz in Holloway said: “I don’t think it is a good idea because at the end of the day takeaways are takeaways and people want to buy food.”
“Not everyone can cook, not everyone has access to a lot of food. Obviously having the university there you are going to have a lot of international students or people from all over the globe who want to eat so you need to have at least a variety so people can choose from,” she said.
However, Paul Banks, 53, a regular punter at Paddy Power on Holloway Road, agrees with the council’s initiative to restrict the number of loan sharks. He added that he believes there should be an average spend limit per day. “Take them all away. If they don’t see it, you can’t do it,” he said.