Friday, 1 October 2010

The John Evelyn pub: another Paddy Power?

Reader Chris has alerted me to the depressing news that Paddy Power is attempting to open another betting shop in Deptford - in one of our last-remaining community pubs. 

According to Chris, the pub closed its doors a couple of weeks ago, with the notice in the window shown below:

But only a few days later a notice of application for a gambling licence appeared in the window - on behalf of none other than friend-of-the-neighbourhood Paddy Power.

Chris is understandably already upset about the closure of the pub, but says that local shopkeepers and businesses are also worried about the knock-on effect the loss of business from the pub customers and the opening of a THIRD betting shop in this small area will have.

"We (local residents and the shopkeepers on the Evelyn Triangle) have written a petition letter and our deadline to get as many in to the council is, I believe 9th October."

Residents wanting to voice their concerns about this application should either visit the Post Office in the Evelyn triangle and hand in their letter to Jay, or send it direct to the council by 9th October at the latest.

A suggested text has been helpfully supplied by Chris:

London Borough of Lewisham
Planning Department
Town Hall
London SE6 4RU

Sender's Name & Address


Dear Sir

I the undersigned am concerned about the change of business application and gaming licence application by Paddy Power Enterprises regarding the premises known as the John Evelyn Pub at 299 Evelyn Street Deptford SE8 and we are appealing to Lewisham Council to turn down this application.

There are already 2 betting shops in the Triangle and another 7 within a ten minute walk. 

We feel that the removal of the public house and the facilities it provided as a large community hub, which included not only a meeting place for funerals, weddings, anniversaries etc, but was used by a wide range of the local community as a place to unwind and catch up on local news and gossip.  It provided a safe haven to many of our local senior citizens who would congregate there daily where they could communicate and also be provided with a nourishing meal.  Unfortunately many of our older neighbours will now no longer have a place to socialise should the premises be granted a licence and be turned into a betting shop. 

Another big concern is that in an area with a large amount of the population being in the low to middle income group, that they will be tempted to improve their situation by gambling monies that they can ill afford, made all the more tempting with yet another gambling opportunity opening up within a stone’s throw of the other two. There is further concern about the temptation to minors of having more options to gamble.

The John Evelyn is also the main local vantage point for the annual London Marathon and over the years has raised many thousands of pounds for charity.  It was also used as the main hub by the local Fire Brigade for their annual charity bus pull. 

The loss of revenue to the local traders is already noticeable and if this downward trend was to continue it could result in other businesses having to close further eroding the very strong sense of community that has been built up around the Triangle over the years.

Yours faithfully

(your signature)

Concerned readers should also lobby our three local Labour councillors to raise these issues with the licensing committee.

You can do so by emailing Sam, Crada and Joseph direct via this page on the Lewisham Council website, or raising it with them at their regular surgeries. According to the web page, they will be holding a surgery this Saturday between 11-12am in the Albany - so if you are intending to visit the town centre consultation it might be a good opportunity to raise this issue at the same time.

Incidentally, if you want to know what 'benefits' the gambling industry as a whole suggests it can bring to the area, you might want to read this rather glib commentary piece on Sportsbook Reviews. Or you might not; be warned it is likely to raise your blood pressure.


Neil said...

I'll certainly be sending a letter, sick and tired of more bookies opening up.

Gilbert said...

What a shame. It's another nail in the coffin for any sense of community around here.

Anonymous said...

this should really go to licensing dept at the council, its not a planning notice

Anonymous said...

This smacks of corruption. There can be no valid reasons for the seven bookies already in the High Street, let alone adding a third to the Triangle. I've already emailed the useless Joan Ruddock twice about this issue, when the last Paddy Power opened in the High Street, but didn't even get as much as an acknowledgement. It's this sort of irresponsibility that's undermining both established communities and regeneration attempts that at one time finally looked like they might raise Deptford from its metaphorical knees.

Chris said...


Unfortunately paddy power were granted the licence last night at the council meeting. The law does not care or take in to account any of the matters that concern local residents regarding the damage that the saturation of these gambling dens can ultimately cause. We're all very depressed.

Thanks for all your help and support nonetheless.

All the best

Anonymous said...

I have documentary evidence that Paddy Power has a policy in place that lends it hand to money laundering, they allow customers to debit money onto the roulette terminals via fraudulent debit cards and pay any returns in cash this has been reported to the police and Gambling Commission.

Anonymous said...

Bakers Arms shop raided by the police for drug dealing on the premisis, this company has no regard for their social responsibility.