Church Action on Poverty welcomes Manchester casino review

By staff writers
July 16, 2007

Church Action on Poverty has expressed satisfaction at Prime Minister Gordon Brown's recent announcement to review, ­and in probability to scrap, the plans for aManchester super-casino.

The Manchester-based Christian campaigning network has described it as "a victory for common sense' and one that will be welcomed by many people within the city."

Niall Cooper, national coordinator of Church Action on Poverty, and vice-chair of the Debt on our Doorstep network said: "Contrary to the impression that the City Council and some local MPs want to give, not everyone in Manchester supported the Super Casino plan. Many Mancunians tonight will be breathing a huge sigh of relief at the scrapping of the plans for the Super Casino."

He continued: "Manchester City Council had massively over-hyped the economic benefits of what they had themselves described as a 'social experiment' in proposing to locate the Casino in East Manchester ­ one of the UK's poorest neighbourhoods."

Cooper added: "Only recently Save the Children reported that Manchester has one of the worst records for child poverty in the country. Locating the UK's first super-casino in East Manchester would have run the risk of worsening the city's already poor record on tackling child poverty.

"Many families across the city are already struggling to make ends meet - the super casino is likely to tip many over the edge into crippling and unsustainable debt.

"Far from stimulating the regeneration of the area, a super casino in East Manchester could create a rise in debt, gambling addicts, crime, debt and homelessness. There must be better ways to bringing jobs and tourism and regeneration to Manchester ­ without local people having to suffer the social costs of gambling on a massive scale," he concluded.

Both religious and secular groups across Greater Manchester had previously expressed strong opposition to the super-casino proposal.

Church Action on Poverty and the Faith Network for Manchester had previously attacked decision to locate the UK's first super-casino in Manchester as a "threat to worsen the city's already poor record on debt and child poverty."

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