An interesting little article just published reflecting on the fact that in the wake of the ‘moral crusade’ to get a number of Leeds striptease clubs shut down (before the Tour de France), the clubs concerned still stand vacant. The article poses the question as to whether a vacant premise is worse for the reputation and image of the city than a thriving strip club. A question that might be raised about any number of premises that authorities seemingly want to drive off our High Streets: betting shops, charity shops, poundshops etc….
On the Leeds saga, see also:
Medway council were supposed to contact me about this one but they don’t seem much interested in talking to their local university on SEV matters or inviting me to hearings. Humph. Anyway, Aaron Stone’s application for a second SEV (Tenshi 2)in Rochester has been rejected, even though the Queen Charlotte has now ceased SEV activities in its cellar and this would have therefore not exceeded the limit of 2 licences for Medway. From the minutes:
“The Panel considered that the premises was not suitable to be licensed for Sexual Entertainments given the size and predominant use of 141 High Street as an Sexual Entertainment Venue as well as its proximity to community facilities such as the adjacent Adult Education Centre, which is also used as a library, its proximity to the bus stop on Corporation Street and its proximity to Tenshi1 which is also operating under a Sexual Entertainments Venue licence, as strongly evidenced by the objectors, including the Ward Councillor.
The Panel was also swayed that the egress to Tenshi 2 would be directly opposite to residential premises that are primarily occupied by the elderly.
The Panel considered evidence presented concerning the Queen Charlotte’s previous SEV Licence. However, the Panel differentiated between the Queen Charlotte and Tenshi 2 on the basis of the different combination of size and predominant use.
This record is available on our website – http://www.medway.gov.ukLicensing 1982 Act Hearing Panel – Sub-Committee of Licensing and Safety Committee, 19 June 2013
Furthermore, the egress to Tenshi 2 would be approximately 50 yards along the same stretch of road to Tenshi 1, whereas the Queen Charlotte was located further away and on a different road to Tenshi 1.
Given the above, the Panel felt that it could not issue the SEV licence even with the conditions proffered by the applicant and therefore the application was refused.”
A long time since the AEWG reported on the issues in Scotland, and following the change in government, there is a consultation on proposals to bring in a new law in Scotland along the lines of the SEV legislation ushered in by the Policing and Crime Act 2009 in England and Wales. Indeed, apart from clarifying the meaning of the phrase ‘audience’ in the Policing and Crime Act section 27, I am not sure there is much difference in what is proposed.
Consultation is open until Sept – see:
Trotted along to the preliminary hearing in Canterbury today to decide if the proposed ‘polysexual’ venue offering female and male striptease (at different times) needed to go to a full hearing in due course. The logic of this two phase process is somewhat different than that adopted elsewhere where applications, if objected to, routinely go straight to the relevant subcommittee who take evidence in public. Anyway, despite the attendance of quite a few interested public spectators at the Guildhall, the hearing was postponed following advice from the borough solicitor in the light of issues raised by the legal representative for the applicant, Leo Charalambides (FTB). So watch this space for more news in due course…
UPDATE: see http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentish_gazette/news/Council-creates-open-door-for-1646/ which makes clear that the adjournment was due to the suggestion that Canterbury had not properly adopted the SEV legislation prior to the hearing.
Refusal number 28: this is a rural pub that has been offering striptease entertainment for around six years, with little opposition. However, with the introduction of the new licensing regime in the borough, the licensee has applied for a licence which received 43 objections. The licence was refused on 30 May according to the council website. Details of the basis for refusal will hopefully be forthcoming in due course: alongside complaints about sexualisation and effects the visibility of such clubs have on children, the letters of objection made much of the fact the pub is out of place in a ‘quiet village’, and attracts an undesirable clientele. The decision, coupled with the refusal of the Green Man in Bucks last year, leaves few (if any?) sexual entertainment premises in rural areas in England and Wales, perpetuating a moral geography suggesting that this sort of premise is fine in large cities but not in the countryside.