FALKIRK COUNCIL GIVEN NEW POWERS BY HOLYROOD OVER PROBLEM GAMBLING
12 January 2017
Falkirk Council will be given powers to tackle problem gambling after a Holyrood committee backed changes to planning rules.
Under new rules councils will be able to block any change in premises to a betting shop, allowing Falkirk Council to tackle the clustering of betting shops.
SNP MSP for Falkirk East, Angus MacDonald, has welcomed this devolution of powers, and has supported the campaign against the clustering of betting shops and fixed-odds betting terminals, which are connected to problem gambling and personal debt.
Commenting, Angus MacDonald MSP said:
“It is great news that Falkirk Council will have the power to stop the clustering of betting shops in our communities, a practice which has disproportionately affected many of our most deprived communities.
“While plenty of people enjoy a casual flutter, the proliferation of betting offices – often concentrated together – has led to serious cases of problem gambling and debt.
“Falkirk Council will now have the power to set limits that work and prevent reckless clustering – a big step forward for local communities across the Falkirk District. I hope Council officials and Councillors will make full use of these new powers.”
PREPARATIONS UNDERWAY FOR WINTRY WEATHER CONDITIONS DUE THIS WEEK
11 January 2017
SNP MSP ANGUS MACDONALD ENCOURAGES TRAVELLERS TO TAKE CARE AND FOLLOW WEATHER WARNINGS
Preparations for the wintry weather expected in Scotland this week are underway and the Scottish Government’s Resilience Team has coordinated a response.
The Met Office has issued several Yellow (Be Aware) warnings for snow and strong winds from Wednesday through to Friday. Deputy First Minister, John Swinney and Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, covered planning for all major modes of transport and the utilities at the Government’s meeting. The flood risk for Scotland remains low for the next few days.
Commenting, SNP MSP Angus MacDonald (Falkirk East) said:
“We will be seeing cold and windy conditions over the next few days and I would recommend that people in Falkirk district keep the weather conditions in mind when they are making their travel plans and leave plenty of time.
“The Scottish Government is making as much information available as possible to allow the public to make informed decisions, and has met with relevant stakeholders to ensure that all of the necessary planning has been done to mitigate the impact of the snow and gale force winds.
“The conditions will lead to some difficult driving conditions and strong winds may lead to road bridge restrictions on Wednesday, especially for high-sided vehicles. When combined with the sleet and snow showers there is also a risk of snow drifts on higher routes on Thursday and Friday.
“Traffic Scotland has a webpage that will link to all of the relevant websites for updates on ferries, rail and air travel - https://trafficscotland.org/links/index.aspx?cat=3
“Take care out there.”
Met Office Yellow (Be Aware) warnings are available at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings