Clause 1 - The licensing objectives

Part of Gambling Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 9th November 2004.

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Photo of Bob Russell Bob Russell Liberal Democrat, Colchester 11:00 am, 9th November 2004

I appreciate that it may be difficult for the hon. Member for Surrey Heath to understand the word ''consensus''.

I put it on record that I have been participating in the Parliament and Industry Trust scheme for some months. I have been placed with the Gala Group. There is no financial interest in it, but it has provided me with a little insight.

I shall concentrate on amendment No. 1, which is to do with public nuisance. I could accuse the Government of many things, but would never accuse them of deliberately wanting to promote public nuisance. In the spirit of consensus to which the Minister alluded, the amendment would go down well in communities that are concerned not so much about casinos, despite many people's grave reservations, but about their spill-out effect, which would be similar to that in our towns and cities when people spill out from major drinking establishments.

It would be a positive sign of the consensus that the Minister seeks if he were to take the amendment on board, because public nuisance is the cause of considerable concern. To include such a provision in the Bill would go a long way to assuring people that

there is a lot of sense behind what the Government propose.