The long empty shop on the corner of the Uxbridge Road and Melbourne Avenue has a sign stuck to it announcing the application for a gambling licence for a Betfred betting shop. Whilst I’m glad this shop will be re-opened does West Ealing really need another betting shop? I can think of at least two between the Lido Junction and Eccleston Road, so why a third?
I guess Betfred have done their research and, at a time when money is very tight, there is a market for people willing to gamble, hope for the best and turn a blind eye to the saying that you never see a poor bookie.
If I had one wish for the newly established West Ealing Centre Neighbourhhod Forum it would be for it to set down tough guidelines for what sort of shops can come to the West Ealing shopping centre. We have enough betting shops and money lending shops in our shopping centre. What we don’t have is low-cost space for new and small local businesses to be given a chance to have a high street presence to see if they can make a go of their business. We need to find ways to give local businesses and entrepreneurs a start in life and low-cost retail space for, say their first year, would be one way of helping them, creating new jobs and keeping money in the local economy. Through running the monthly craft market and annual Arts and Crafts Fair we know there are plenty of local craftspeople and some would jump at the chance to take this next step.