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Protesters vow to fight on over gaming arcade plan

PUBLISHED: 11:07 02 July 2008 | UPDATED: 10:17 22 July 2010

PROTESTERS have vowed to fight on after a controversial gaming company won the latest round in a battle to open a massive arcade in Archway.

PROTESTERS have vowed to fight on after a controversial gaming company won the latest round in a battle to open a massive arcade in Archway.

Frankice Limited, which opened Agora arcade in the Nag's Head pub last year after a major battle, has been granted a licence to reopen Emily's Home Shop in Junction Road as a gaming centre.

Liberal Democrat councillors gave it the green light because they thought they would lose an appeal if it was rejected, as happened in last year's struggle.

Locals say the arcade will take Archway in the wrong direction - and hope it may yet be blocked because it does not have planning permission.

Jan Tucker, chairwoman of a local tenants' association, said: "The Lib-Dems say they want to regenerate the area but how will this help? We fought hard to stop pole dancing in the Archway Tavern and now this. The local retailers are gutted."

She added: "It might lead to increased shoplifting. Gambling is a disease and people will get money to feed it any way they can. We will fight."

Local councillor Janet Burgess said: "I am deeply disappointed the Liberal Democrats voted to allow another gambling place. It will damage our community. Instead of standing up for residents, The Lib-Dems were on the side of a big company."

She added: "Archway is not a rich area - it will take money from our poorest residents. But I won't give up the fight."

Mary Gibson, headmistress at Yerbury School in nearby Foxham Road, said: "I am very disappointed. It teaches children that gambling is an everyday thing."

Councillor Laura Willoughby said: "Our hands were tied. The committee doesn't make the laws, the Labour government does. It is so in favour of casinos that it was impossible to turn down. We lost the appeal on the casino at the Nag's Head and the circum-stances here are no different.

"We have more power through planning to stop and I hope the committee uses its powers to stop it.


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