LETTER: Too many bookies, slot machine arcades and takeaways in our town centre

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“GOING to the dogs,” an old-fashioned saying usually associated with anyone or anything deteriorating or going into decline, I would like to attribute the saying to Burnley Council.

The decline of Burnley’s high street shopping areas and side street shopping areas can solely be laid at the door of Burnley Council.

These areas have been in decline for decades now, long before the credit crunch and any other economic downturn we have been hit with.

It seems to me the council will approve any application to turn any empty shop into a business just for the sake of having one less empty shop, regardless of the impact said business might have on the people of the town.

This country was and still is known as a country of shopkeepers.

I’ll bet whoever coined that phrase originally never, for one minute, envisaged a country full of greasy fast food takeaways, off-licences and bookmakers.

Point in question – Yet another application for a bookmaker’s shop in an area where there is already far too many, namely Burnley centre and the surrounding area.

In another area of Burnley an application for an off-licence where in the same area, within 500 yds, there are already 10 such premises plying their trade.

And don’t mention the number of greasy fast food takeaways there are as I’ve lost count.

Finally, it’s a proven fact that, in thousands of cases up and down the country, gambling does lead to debt and debt leads to depression and depression, in many cases, leads to suicide.

It is a proven fact the greasy fast food garbage thousands of people consume every day does lead to serious and irreversible medical conditions for thousands of people which, in turn, leads to an overburdening of our already buckling National Health Service.

It is also a proven fact that alcoholism and anti-social behaviour go hand in hand and have been on the rise among the working classes for a very long time now, which causes misery not only for themselves but for those around them and, as before, it is also an overwhelming burden on our already overstretched health services.

Why our overpaid politicians can’t see the bigger picture is beyond me. By proliferating gambling, drinking, and junk food shops the way they are and have been doing for an age now, the council is not only causing irreparable damage to this generation, but will be causing catastrophic and unsolvable damage to the next.

Going regularly to the off-licence, or the bookies, or the greasy spoon will only be on my agenda when there is no choice left. That said, less choice in many areas is rapidly becoming a reality.

It seems the only shops not to be hit by the recession are the bookmakers and slot machine arcades, I’ve never known one to close yet. What does that tell me? It tells me that not only are fools and their money soon parted, it also tells me there’s gold in them there hill towns.

That’s why pay day loan sharks, which now also cover our high streets, are a Godsend for the people who regularly visit the above establishments.

These people need to feed their habits and pay day loan sharks are an ideal way of doing just that, thus making the already vulnerable people’s lives more miserable, depressing and suicidal than they already are.