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Casino planners lay cards on table

PUBLISHED: 13:53 17 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:16 11 May 2010

Casino plans unveiled

Casino plans unveiled

THE roulette wheel of Great Yarmouth's changing fortunes began spinning this week as the borough council took the first steps in outlining what it wants from casino developers.

THE roulette wheel of Great Yarmouth's changing fortunes began spinning this week as the borough council took the first steps in outlining what it wants from casino developers.

The casino advisory panel met on Wednesday for the first time to discuss a broad range of policy criteria to be considered when granting the large casino licence application.

Earlier this year the borough council hit the jackpot along with seven other authorities in the country after it was given the go-ahead by the government to grant the licence.

The borough council's head of central services Chris Skinner said: “If we have more than one application for this licence, the council's licensing committee will have to choose who it grants the licence to. The test we have to apply under the ambling act is the application which brings the greatest benefit to the borough.”

In a draft document the council has outlined a series of criteria it wants bidders to pitch their developments on - key areas being around tackling unemployment and regeneration.

Chairman of the committee and the deputy leader of the borough council Barry Stone said the criteria would allow the private sector to decide on the most innovative solutions and proposals for the casino development.

The panel agreed the criteria needed to highlight the protection of children and vulnerable adults; prevent gambling from being associated with crime; and ensure gambling is fair and open.

Members agreed the potential for regeneration and employment should be considered highly in any bid and its design and location, range of non-gambling activities and associated financial or other contributions to the council were also important.

The document outlines that the seafront or town centre would be the most likely locations for any development but it does not rule out other areas.

The criteria will go before cabinet on Wednesday and once approved a four month consultation period will start where views of local residents and businesses will be sought.

The panel is made up of:

Malcolm Bird, chairman of the Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority

Bruce Sturrock, Palmers department store MD

Cllr Barry Coleman, Local Strategic Partnership

Cllr Graham Plant, Cabinet member, regeneration and tourism

Cllr Michael Castle

Canon Michael Woods

Jo Cook, Norfolk County Council adult social services

Mandy Lyons, Norfolk County Council children's services

Superintendent Jim Smerdon, Great Yarmouth Police

Lesley Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Yare Valley and District CAB.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Any thoughts on the make-up of the panel? Write to Letters at The Mercury, 169 King Street, Great Yarmouth NR30 2PA or email anne.edwards@archant.co.uk

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