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31st March   

Bristol Planning Censors...

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Claim that a massage parlour was causing demonstrable harm
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Bristol City Council A massage parlour owner is appealing against Bristol City Council's decision to close his business down for not having planning permission. Old Market businessman Essie Zadeh lodged the appeal after planning officers whinged about The New Exchange on West Street.

A spokesman for the council claimed:

An investigation revealed that an unauthorised and unacceptable change of use had taken place which was causing demonstrable harm to the vitality and viability of the retail centre of West Street and to the amenity of neighbouring residents. Accordingly, a Planning Enforcement Notice was served on January 25.

The owner subsequently exercised their legal right to submit an appeal against the notice to the Secretary of State, Planning Inspectorate. The appeal process is now under way with the Planning Inspectorate.

 

20th March   

Update: The Only Dancing for Henley is Around the Maypole...

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Henley police apply to have lap dancing licence revoked
Link Here  full story: Lap Dancing in Henley...Lap dancing comes to Henley

diamonds pearls henley More than 100 crimes have been reported at Diamonds and Pearls since it opened in 2009. Now Thames Valley Police have applied to have the licence revoked.

Latino's nightclub, which is in the same building in Greys Road car park, is governed by the same licence. If South Oxfordshire District Council's licensing panel approves the police request, both clubs would be forced to shut.

Henley police launched an investigation because of the large number of reported crimes at the premises, including eighteen assaults, 11 causing actual bodily harm, nine drug offences, 12 incidents of fraud, six thefts, one affray and a rape.

Inspector Stewart Haveron, who is leading the investigation, said: Because of the large number of incidents, we have found it necessary to apply for a review of the licence. The measures put in place to prevent crime on the site are not effective and so the licence needs to be reviewed.

Town councillor Barry Wood, who has campaigned to have Diamonds and Pearls closed down, said: This is absolutely brilliant and I applaud the police. I am surprised at the high level of crime but research shows that the amount of crime within one km of these establishments is increased. The only sort of pole dancing I want in Henley is around a Maypole.

 

19th March   

Brett and Melanie and the MPAA...


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Film submitted for several different MPAA ratings to highlight the differences in the category rules
Link Here

Brett Melanie Meets Girl People Brett And Melanie: Boi Meets Girl is the seventh in an ongoing series of films from award-winning director Tony Comstock.

The unrated director's cut of the film has now been completed. The Boi Meets Girl Meets the MPAA project will submit the film to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and on the basis of the MPAA's feedback, they will produce a  DVD showing the exact difference between the Unrated, NC-17, R and PG-13 rated versions of the film. Monies raised will go to covering MPAA submission fees, re-editing costs, and DVD authoring.

Videos of each rating version of the film will also be uploaded to popular video sharing sites, such as YouTube, Vimeo, Daily Motion, etc to see how various MPAA-rated versions are treated by the vagaries of Community Guidelines.

Tony Comstock said:

We're undertaking this project because kerfuffles over ratings generate a lot of anger and publicity, but they don't seem to leave anyone any better informed about the rating process, and we'd like to change that.

By taking Brett And Melanie through the MPAA process, we'll be able show just what sort of alterations were required to achieve various ratings. And once we have those ratings in hand, we can test the MPAA's content rating system and level of transparency against places like YouTube and Facebook.

 

18th March   

Doing a Clumsy Quickstep to Avoid Sex Shop Entrepreneur...

Ann Widdecombe refuses to hand out award to woman making a success of a lingerie and sex toy business
Link Here

Ann Widdecombe Ann Widdecombe has long championed the nutter cause. And she stuck to her principles when she refused to present a businesswoman with an award after learning she ran a company selling lingerie and sex toys.

She was presenting Women Of Worth awards when entrepreneur Emily Bendell was called to the stage. Bendell is the CEO of BlueBella a company with the tagline: lingerie and lovestuff

Widdecombe quickly passed the award to another presenter to hand over.

Emily later explained: As I walked down to the stage I noticed a kerfuffle as she passed it over. It was a real surprise and it certainly took the shine out of the day for me. Ann is a great proponent of women getting ahead by their own merits so I would have hoped that she would have recognised my achievements.

Widdecombe, a strict Catholic, was candid about why she preferred her co-presenter to hand out that particular award: Let's be honest, anyone who knows me would know that I wouldn't approve of sex shops and certainly don't want to hand out awards for running them. But there were two of us handing out awards and when I saw that she had won I just handed over to the co-presenter, who completely understood.

Emily started her lingerie, nightwear and sex toys business BlueBella in 2005. It is now a multi-million pound company and has grown by 150% in the past year. Her efforts were recognised at the ceremony where she won the Small Business Of The Year award.

 

18th March   

Update: Lodging a High Court Case...

Oxford lap dancing venue seeks Judicial Review over having licence refused on the grounds of it being near a church
Link Here  full story: Lap Dancing in Oxford...Thirst for nutter 'outrage'

Old Bailey Defiant lap dancing club bosses have revealed they are taking the fight over Oxford City Council's licence refusal to the very top.

Managers at The Lodge signed off legal documents which will see their case taken to the High Court. Club owner Al Thompson said the venue had a good case. He told the Oxford Mail: We instructed a legal team. We are going to fight this but it is not a cheap process. This is not just about lap dancing, this affects a lot of people, it is how we make our living.

'Furious' nutter campaigners hit out at the decision and claimed it could open the door for other lap dancing clubs in the city. Hannah Clare, who led a protest against lap dancing clubs in Oxford earlier this month, said she hoped any High Court review upheld the council's decision: The worry would be the decision could impact on future applications for these kind of places. This is part of an industry that objectifies women's bodies.

The council originally granted a variation to the licence for The Lodge in December 2009, to allow lap dancing, and at the time said it had no grounds to refuse it. But under new legislation there is more scope for refusal and the license was refused on the grounds that a sexual entertainment venue at the premises would be inappropriate, having regard to the character of the relevant locality and the use to which other premises in the vicinity are put .

Update: Alternative Venue

13th June 2011. See  article from  oxfordmail.co.uk

Lap dancing bosses have trained their sights on a new venue close to Oxford Ice Rink as they fight to stay open in the city.

Owners of The Lodge club, in St Ebbes, which have been ordered to stop all sexual entertainment next week, have turned their attention to The Coven club in Oxpens Road.

An application to allow lap dancing, pole dancing and strip shows at the venue, opposite Oxford and Cherwell Valley College, has been filed with Oxford City Council.

The Lodge's owner Al Thompson said a move to Oxpens Road would satisfy the concerns of the club's current neighbours, St Ebbes Church, and Oxford City Council, which refused to renew the club's licence as it was close to a church, shopping centre and tourist attractions. Thompson said: It is tucked out of the way with a car park. We are not applying to have it open in the day. It would not impact on anybody.

The club would also drop its High Court challenge of the council's decision to refuse a licence at its current location.

Of course the nutters are never happy. Hannah Clare, who works at Oxford's Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre, opposed plans for the club to remain at its current premises on the basis lap dancing objectified women. She said: The same issues affect the community whether it is at The Lodge or at The Coven.

Anyone who wants to comment on the licensing application must do so, to Oxford City Council, by June 17.

 

13th March   

Offsite: The Daily Mail Recommends...

The Box erotic cabaret in London's Soho
Link Here

the box soho logo Inside Britain's seediest VIP club: A sickening and degrading experience enjoyed by royals and celebrities

I have heard The Box puts on the most sexually explicit show in town. What goes on inside has reportedly shocked even the most jaded of seen-it-all-before socialites.

Can this place really be as decadent as it is billed, I wonder, as I arrive outside The Box, or is it just over-excited hype?

What I see during the subsequent few hours leaves me in no doubt. For the erotic entertainment I encounter is not exciting, edgy or cool. It is, quite simply, hardcore pornography of the most repulsive kind.

...Read the full article

Sounds excellent. Now where can I get a celebrity date who will foot the bill?

 

13th March   

Cheltenham Hurdles...

Miserable Cheltenham restricts entertainment for festival goers
Link Here

blueroom logo Temporary lap dancing clubs will still be able to operate during Gold Cup week but Cheltenham's use of new rules means they have restricted events to two temporary licences allowing 24 hours of erotic performances.

Cheltenham Borough Council has issued temporary events notices to G's and Dakota.

Four other venues have told police they intend to host strip shows for one night that week. Licensing officer PC Andy Cook said: Whereas in 2010 some venues might have held this kind of event on consecutive days during race week, this year they can only do it once. Police have a duty to uphold the legislation, so will be checking on premises throughout the week.

The Echo understands that Dakota, MooMoo, Fever and Lace are those to name dates for dancing.

The town's only regular lap dancing bar, Blue Room, will be able to operate as usual.

Last year, six non-licensed venues were able to put on lap dancing for 96 hours during race week by informing the council and police.

 

13th March   

Updated: An Object Lesson...

Manchester strip clubs see less trouble than Costa Coffee!
Link Here

manchester police logo Confirmation of the complete nonsense talked by the likes of Object on lap dancing clubs came in January when Manchester Police released Freedom of Information figures about their call outs to licensed premises in the city centre during 2010.

It showed that the top places were conventional nightclubs like 5th Avenue {173} and Opus {162} and {surprise, surprise !} amongst the very least visited places were Long Legs {3 visits} and the Fantasy Bar {2 visits} the only 2 strip venues covered.

The strip venues each scored much lower than the local branches of the likes of Burger King {87} and even Costa Coffee {31}!

Another Freedom of Information report showed that contrary to what the local police and MP had said sexual assaults had actually fallen in Newquay after the lap dancing clubs had opened.

Update: London strip pubs see less trouble too

13th March 2011. See  article from  strip-magazine.com

Browns More Freedom of Information police statistics. This time from the Hoxton and Shoreditch area in London. Police call outs in 2010 were to mainstream bars, Club Aquarium {156}, Hoxton Pony {114} and 333 Club {88} whereas the strip pubs, Browns {11} and the White Horse {9} were at the bottom of the list.

 

9th March   

Updated: Porn Again...

Jacqui Smith voices her concerns about porn in Britain
Link Here  full story: Porn Again...Jacqui Smith's radio documentary

porn again with jacqui smith The BBC introduces the programme as:

In a documentary featuring explicit language and sexual content, former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith investigates pornography, meeting those who make, watch and commentate on it.

5th March 2011. See  review from  newstatesman.com by Steven Baxter

So we got to hear Jacqui's reaction to bukkake -- All she is, that woman, is a receptacle. Is this bukkake? I think it's horrible --, a chandelier made of penises and her first ever viewing of a porn film. It's anal sex with a man with a very big penis... She doesn't look as if she's being forced to do anything she doesn't want to... there's not a lot of story... says Jacqui.

It's quite odd to think of a middle-aged married person never having seen pornography, or having experienced it; even odder still to think of a public representative or politician legislating on matters they haven't directly experienced. After all, Smith went out on the streets to see crime fighting for herself while home secretary, so the curiosity is there, beyond a photo opportunity, surely.

As one interviewee points out, here's someone who legislated as home secretary without ever having seen adult entertainment; Jacqui's response is that she didn't try hard drugs but she had to legislate on that too.

But this was a documentary very much about opinions, rather than evidence. Throughout, Jacqui was keen to present her idea that pornography had a deleterious effect on users (there's that drugs link again) without ever really getting to the bottom of why she felt that way.

...Read the full review

5th March 2011. See review from Melon Farmers Forum by Phantom

The supposed piece was quite hideous.

I kid you not, at one point she consulted a professor for feminist liberation and theology . Yes. Feminism and theology in one package. A double whammy.

Of course she also interviewed the left's ever convenient intellectual Allan de Botton. Anyone who knows of him, knows that he is an avid champion of social interventionism. In short, he argues that we need nannying for our own good. So what a coincidence that Smith chose to interview him on porn. His conclusion? Porn needs banning for our own good. Anyone surprised? Please speak up if you are.

To prove herself even handed, she interviewed porn producers, primarily Phil and Cathy Barry. But that was more a question of who they were and what they produced. Not the nasty, foreign stuff . There seemed little doubt that such appearances of the pornsters were not there to add to the argument but to try and make the program more entertaining. In short they were the light relief who added sauce to the program. For rather tellingly no one was interviewed who would argue on a deeper level why porn should be legal. No one was allowed to question the idea of prohibition. There was never a serious pro argument forwarded by anyone. But plenty of contra .

All the while, did Jacqui Smith talk to trafficked women, forced into porn? Any crack addicts appearing solely to feed their habit? Oddly, no. None of it. After all, where would she find these fictitious creatures? But of course, there was everlasting editorial about her concerns .

Again, there was the endless stream of verbiage about what effect this pornography is having on the viewers. Was any science applied to this? Why bother with science if you can just speak into the mike and voice concern ?

...Read the full review

Comment: Mediawatch-UK have their two pennyworth

9th March 2011. See  article from  christian.org.uk  

David Turtle, spokesman for Mediawatch UK, said:

The adult entertainment industry is only concerned about its profits.

It's naive to think it is going to be effective in helping teenagers who are at risk from this material.

If Ms Smith was so concerned about the issue, why didn't she do more to deal with it when she was Home Secretary?

Offsite: BBC must be unbalanced to broadcast Jacqui Smith's anti-porn propaganda

9th March 2011. See  article from  theregister.co.uk by Jane Fae ozimek, Thanks to pbr

The BBC was today accused of ignoring its own charter requirement to offer balance by coming down firmly on the side of opt-in in respect of internet porn regulation.

An alliance of the concerned drawn from academics and individuals representing the adult film industry added their voices to a chorus of dissent, claiming that Porn Again , a documentary produced by former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and aired last Thursday, was biased, inaccurate, and went out of its way to sideline any voices at odds with its central thesis that pornography is harmful.

Speaking to The Register today, Jerry Barnett, Chairman of the Adult Industry Trade Association (AIT), said: The documentary appears to have been a piece of pro-censorship propaganda, backed by the full establishment weight of the BBC, at a time when freedom of speech is under concerted attack from multiple directions, by our government and many others around the world.

...Read the full article

 

8th March   

Comment: Can Sex Films Empower Women?...

Debate: miserablist Gail Dines vs adult film maker Anna Span
Link Here

hoxton honey Former home secretary Jacqui Smith this week reopened the debate about the impact of the sex industry on society with her BBC Radio 5 documentary about pornography. Here, Gail Dines, professor of sociology and women's studies at Wheelock College in Boston, and author of Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality, and Anna Arrowsmith, a former Liberal Democrat candidate who makes pornographic films under the name Anna Span, discuss the issues.

...

Anna Span: We get a lot of aggression from people like you and it's important that empowered women like myself stand up for porn stars and say, please listen to them. If they say they are happy, please respect their autonomy.

Gail Dines: Women who work in the sex industry and promote this in the name of feminism are the scabs of the feminist movement. I think you are an apologist, and selling women out.

Anna Span: I'm not an apologist. I'm here because women want sexuality to be represented. If you hand over all sexual imagery to men, you hand over that power. I'm not saying all pornography is positive to women, but the only way you are going to change that is from working with the images themselves.

...Read the full debate

Comment: Capitalist Exploitation

8th March 2011. Thanks to Alan

What sort of sociologist is Dr Dines? What she says about capitalist exploitation could equally be said of women working on the checkout in Tesco. She would, I hope, not suggest that we should all abstain from the purchase of groceries or slag off women who staff the tills.

Instead, I'm sure she would advise them to get organised in a trade union to improve their terms and conditions. Maybe the ECP should enlarge its remit to cover all sex workers and register formally as a trade union.

 

7th March   

Update: The Contaminated Children of Henley...

Nutters whinge at teenager's event held in a club above a closed lap dancing club
Link Here  full story: Lap Dancing in Henley...Lap dancing comes to Henley

diamonds pearls henley A Henley club owner has ended non-alcoholic events for teenagers after facing nutter criticism about sexualisation of children.

The rants came about because the venue for the Valentines Day party was above a lap dancing club (which was closed at the time).

The event for 15-18-year-olds was held at Latino's, which is above the Diamonds and Pearls club in Greys Road car park. More than 100 teenagers, mostly girls, attended.

Last week, Elsa Torres, deputy headteacher of Gillotts School in Henley, criticised the party, saying: While I think it is a good thing for teenagers to have the chance to go to venues and enjoy themselves, they should be in more respectful places than above a pole dancing club.

Town councillor Barry Wood, who has campaigned to have Diamonds and Pearls closed down, said: The whole thing is contaminating our children, who are being exposed to the seamier side of life. This party just further intensifies my opposition to that place. The sooner we get rid of it the better. In four months' time, the club's licence comes up for review and it is going to argue that it is being used by the community. The club is trying to integrate itself into the community and that's wrong.

Club owner Leno Borg said he was disappointed at the criticism: They didn't even come to check what the party was like, he said. It went very well and there were no problems. The children just want to come and enjoy themselves.

 

4th March   

Update: Miserable Moralists get their Way...

Oxford revokes lap dancing licence from bar near church
Link Here  full story: Lap Dancing in Oxford...Thirst for nutter 'outrage'

St Ebbe's, Oxford Oxford Counci have decided to revoke the licence of the Thirst Lodge lap dancing club.

At the first hearing of its kind to be held since Oxford City Council adopted new licencing laws. The changes give local authorities greater powers to moralise about whether such lap dancing venues should be established and where.

The ruling has been welcomed by the rector of St Ebbe's, the Rev Vaughan Roberts:

As a church, we campaigned against this licence application as we did not believe this sort of establishment should continue to have a base in the city centre of Oxford

Oxford has a large percentage of young women, and an establishment such as this could put those enjoying the culture and nightlife in Oxford at risk.

In addition, many children and young people use our church building each week and to have such a club in close proximity would not be appropriate.

The church was supported in its challenge by the Christian Legal Centre. Its chief executive, Andrea Minichiello Williams, welcomed the ruling claiming:

This decision will make a positive difference to the wellbeing of the local community.

 

2nd March   

Offsite: My View of Pornography...

Jacqui Smith outlines her findings to be reported in Porn Again radio documentary
Link Here  full story: Porn Again...Jacqui Smith's radio documentary

virgin territory ...As I challenged what I was seeing at the Erotica show and on the covers of DVDs I was, of course, challenged back about my lack of personal knowledge about pornography. I've seen magazines and books, but I had never watched a film.

So the next weird outing was to watch porn on a borrowed laptop. I already knew that porn was widespread on the internet, but I was genuinely surprised and shocked at how easily available it is: no proof of age, no credit card, no need to identify yourself. And, as I learned at the British Board of Film Classification, there is no classification, so no restriction on what you can view -- group sex, double penetration, anal sex, scenes filmed to look as if strangers were being asked for sex in the street, some use of restraints -- there seemed to be little limit on what was freely available.

As Home Secretary, I changed the law to criminalise the possession of violent and extreme pornographic images, but pornographers continue to push the boundaries. Even in the pornography submitted for classification by the BBFC, 25 per cent of films need to be cut -- usually because they show women being forcibly restrained, abused or injured.

...Read the full article

Offsite: Coffee and Pastries with Jacqui

See also Behind the scenes of Porn Again from  strangethingsarehappening.com

 

24th February   

Porn Research...

Invitation to a survey about the everyday use of pornography
Link Here

porn research Clarissa Smith, Feona Attwood & Martin Barker are embarking on a research project about the everyday usage of pornography. They are inviting users to contribute via an online anonymous survey. They write:

We want to emphasise from the outset that the research we are conducting is unlike almost all the previous research that has been conducted on pornography. In the past, pornography has overwhelmingly been assumed to be a problem , and the only really important questions to ask about it are -- how much do people (and especially children) encounter it, and how great is the harm that it does? This research is different.

Our project is concerned with the everyday uses of pornography, and how the people who use it feel it fits into their lives. Pornography is of course a highly topical issue, subject to many opposing views and strong opinions . And we are not saying that there are no moral or political issues. But we are saying that the voices of users and enjoyers have been swamped. In fact, there is very little research that engages with the users of pornography, asking how, when and why they turn to it.

We want to gather the thoughts and responses of people who have chosen to use pornography of their own accord. We believe that there can be many different and complicated reasons for looking at pornography. We also don't believe that all the materials that go under that label, pornography , are the same -- only to be distinguished by how extreme or explicit they are.

We are hoping to gather thousands of responses from both frequent and infrequent users of pornography. The more we can gather, the more confidently we will be able to present the results in the on-going public debates on this issue. We want to know some very simple things, like what you view, how you find it, how often, what you particularly like, what is exciting and how this fits in with your feelings about sex, your body, and your pleasures.

If you don't know us, we are happy to tell you about ourselves, you can learn in detail about our previous work in this kind of area. If you just want to move to the questionnaire, we will just say here that all three of us have been involved in questioning the basis of moral campaigns about the media. Clarissa Smith has been researching pornography since the mid-1990s and has written widely about the problems of censorship and the attempts to legislate against sexually explicit materials. Feona Attwood's research is in the area of sex in contemporary culture and controversial media. Martin Barker has been involved in such work since the early 1980s, beginning with the so-called video nasties campaign.

The questionnaire we are asking you to fill in has been carefully designed. It will enable us to understand the patterns of use of porn by ordinary people. You'll find the questionnaire is a mix of multiple choice and open questions, and we will only be able to use what you say if you answer all the questions. Please feel free to add as much detail as you like in the spaces available about your pleasures and disappointments in pornography, how you use it and why. We reckon it will take you between 20-30 minutes to complete.

Once this project is completed (which will probably be around the end of 2011), we promise that it will be made widely available, including via this website.

Thank you -- and if you agree that these issues badly need more knowledge and less assumption and bias, help us by passing on this weblink to other people.

 

21st February   

Offsite: Student by Day ... Lap-Dancer by Night...

Students who are funding their studies by lap-dancing
Link Here

browns shoreditch Joy Nilsson is a student protester, but not as we know it. She has just started an MSc at a London university. Today she is bundled up in a puffa jacket and a fluorescent waistcoat outside Hackney Town Hall, marching along with a group carrying signs and shouting through megaphones. But this protest is not about tuition fees or higher education funding cuts. These women are here to oppose a plan to clamp down on east London's menagerie of strip and lap-dancing clubs. If the plan goes through, Nilsson says she will struggle to be able to pay for her postgraduate course, because she is funding it with her job as a professional lap-dancer.

If they close the clubs many women will drop out of higher education, she says. I don't want to owe ?50,000 when I graduate, and I know other women feel the same. I love my job and I'm very proud of what I do -- it fits perfectly with my studying, it's very flexible and you get your money up front. What other jobs give you that kind of freedom?

...Read the full article

 

19th February   

Updated: Cambridge University Debate...

This house believes that pornography does a good public service
Link Here

apocalypse angels The Cambridge Union Society will debate the motion This house believes that pornography does a good public service.

The British adult film director Anna Span and porn-star Johnny Anglais will propose the motion. Shelley Lubben and Dr Richard Woolfson will argue against it.

Anna span is a notable British director of female friendly hardcore who stood as a LibDem candidate in the last parliamentary election.

Shelley Lubben is former-porn actress who 'saw the light' and became a born-again christian. She founded the Pink Cross Foundation who campaign against pornography. Dr Richard Woolfson is a child psychologist.

Offsite: Debate Won

19th February 2011. Based on article from cambridgefirst.co.uk

Porn has the Cambridge Student's Union blessing.

During a heated debate in the society approaching its 200th year, there were images conjured up that would make a sailor blush. But underneath the lewd aesthetics of pornography lay a serious issue.

This house believes that pornography does a good public service was the proposition, and it passed by 44 votes.

For this much-publicised debate, the proposers were Britain's first female porn director Anna Span, teacher-cum-porn star Johnny Anglais, and self-professed sexademic Jessi Fischer; the opposers, born-again-Christian and ex-porn star Shelley Lubben, feminist activist Dr Gail Dines, and child psychologist Dr Richard Woolfson.

...Read the full article

 

18th February   

Arbitrary Moralists...

Leicester council committee recommends to close 2 lap dancing venues
Link Here

leicester city council logo Moralist councillors have recommended that Leicester has no more than three strip clubs or lap-dancing bars. Members of the city licensing and morals committee last night voted that the number of such venues should be reduced from five to three.

The policy document before the committee suggested it should limit the number of sex entertainment venues to four inside the inner road and one other.

However, Councillor Caroline Scuplak pointed out that a public consultation document showed that, apart from having none at all, a majority of people had voted for there to be three such venues. He said: It is right and proper that this committee should reflect the view of the people in the public consultation.

Councillor Barbara Potter said she totally opposed the existence of any such clubs: She said: It is not fair for me to go out with my grandchildren on a Sunday afternoon to see half-naked women on billboards. I think there should be a blanket ban on these.

The existing venues are Spearmint Rhino, Panache, Platinum Lace, Angels and Baby Blue. If the policy is endorsed it means only a maximum three of the clubs can continue trading.

The cabinet will make its final decision on March 3.

Update: Draconian

See  article from  thisisleicestershire.co.uk

The boss of a lap dancing club has hit out at city council plans to limit the number of venues in Leicester to three. Les Pierce, operations director and partner at Platinum Lace, in Abbey Lane, said the proposal was draconian .

Pierce said the decision was heavy-handed and unnecessary.

We are a professionally-run establishment which takes the service we offer to our customers very seriously. I can see why the council might want to limit the number to the five clubs which are already operating in the city, but to reduce it three makes no sense. It is draconian. This is our seventh year in Leicester and we've not encountered any problems with the police or the council yet.

We have about 25 staff here and about 60 dancers, so if we were to lose our licence then they would be out of jobs. Platinum Lace has nothing to hide and we welcome regulation and transparency, but this just does not seem fair. All we are doing is meeting a demand as part of a legitimate night-time economy.

 

2nd February   

Offsite: Burlesque in Soho...

New York cabaret show to replace the old Raymond Revue Bar
Link Here

raymond revue bar It is 2am and a woman dressed as a giant vagina is dancing on stage. Welcome to The Box, a club night that has established itself as Manhattan's home of risque cabaret — and is about to launch in the UK.

The man behind New York's notorious X-rated sensation is Simon Hammerstein, grandson of lyricist Oscar Hammerstein. His club opened in 2007 in a defunct sign factory on Chrystie Street, a less-than-salubrious stretch of Manhattan's gentrifying Lower East Side. But the glamorous jewel box of a theatre looks like it was plucked from New Orleans' fetid heyday.

Now Hammerstein plans to open The Box in London's old Raymond Revue Bar.

The local authority and many residents are giving the raucous newcomer a cautious welcome. Scores of Soho's traditional sex shops, massage parlours and strip joints have closed in recent years, provoking a backlash with concerns that a famously rackety area of London is being transformed into a bland space colonised by chain bars and restaurants. The Box sailed through its application for a licence last November.

A spokeswoman for Westminster council said: The licence was granted after consultation with police and other groups; we believe that the operator is reputable and well regarded, and we don't really have any concerns about it. We'd rather have activity there than an empty space. We understand this is a burlesque show more than just lots of bits on display.

...Read the full article

 

31st January   

Erotic Adaptions...

A report from a fun sounding conference on sex and violence in the media
Link Here

Texas Vibrator Massacre DVD A fun sounding conference titled Erotic Adaptions was held at Leicester's De Montfort University this week. It was hosted by the university's Centre for Adaptations and the research network Onscenity.

No one could accuse the participants of shying away from the extreme end of the spectrum of sex and violence, with papers examining films such as the banned The Texas Vibrator Massacre (2007).

Xavier Mendik, lecturer in film and television studies at Brunel University, has researched the career of Joe D'Amato (1936-99), one of Italy's most controversial bad boys of cult cinema . His films rely on an unflinching fusion of sex and gore influenced by the ideas...of the Marquis de Sade and sometimes feature him as a character.

Anthony McKenna, research associate on the Michael Klinger Research Project at the University of the West of England, looked at the Confessions series of sex comedies, still often used by film scholars and historians to represent the low watermark of British cinema in the difficult 1970s .

Johnny Walker, a PhD student in cinema and television history at De Montfort, drew on the pornographic British versions of Dracula to dispute the common claim that Britain has never had a home-based hardcore porn industry .

Another scholar asked whether the story of Little Red Riding Hood , long accepted as a parable of rape , could be reinvented in versions where the heroine is often equal to the wolf in terms of desire .

 

30th January   

Update: A Bunch of Mad, Rabid Feminists...

Shoreditch vicar tells a few home truths about Hackney Council's moral campaign
Link Here  full story: Strip Pubs in London...London's strip pubs threatened by Hackney Council

St Leonard's ShoreditchReverend Paul Turp has strongly criticised Hackney Council for attempting to impose a moral code on residents and visitors by outlawing lap dancing, sex shops and adult cinemas in the area.

Hackney council voted last week for what it called a nil policy, banning any new strip venues from opening. The policy was approved despite being supported by less than 30% of people who took part in a public consultation on the nil policy.

The policy derives from the 2010 Policing and Crime Act, which gives councils greater authority in the licensing of strip clubs. The policy alsodubiously removes sex establishments' rights of appeal if licence renewal is refused.

Reverend Turp, of St Leonard's Church in London's Shoreditch, said he was hugely disappointed with the decision, adding that it will push the business underground, resulting in more women working dangerously on the streets and will add to the people who turn to his church for help.

The clergyman, who provides refuge for 17 homeless people, as well as caring for alcoholics, addicts and prostitutes, said: The council have created a problem where there wasn't one to begin with. They deliberately disregarded the views of the people.

Bill Parry-Davies, a solicitor who is representing two of the existing clubs, said the local authority had abused its powers and plans further legal moves to challenge the ban: Hackney's policy seems ideologically driven, regardless of its consequences in the real world. It's regressive. People fought to protect women by introducing licensing. The courts will want to look very closely at a policy which seeks to deny a licensee's right of appeal and the courts' jurisdiction in such a manner.

Hackney councillor Emma Plouviez said that she thought the nil policy was the right thing to do: When we had the application for a new establishment it did provoke more opposition than anything else . That's where this policy came from: this policy wasn't dreamed up by a bunch of mad, rabid feminists.

 

30th January   

Diary: Porn Again...

Fallen moral high grounder Jacqui Smith to make radio documentary about porn
Link Here

Radio 5 Live logoFormer Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is to make a radio documentary about the pornography industry for the BBC.

Smith resigned from her cabinet post after it was revealed she claimed expenses for two pay-per-view porn films watched by her husband.

The BBC says she will interview porn stars and film-makers for the investigation. The programme is being produced for BBC Radio 5 Live by an independent production company, and will also feature philosophers, feminists and politicians.

Smith said she knew from my own personal experience, porn fascinates us - media and public alike . But we actually know very little about what it's like to work in the industry and what porn is doing to our society, our children and our relationships.

The BBC says the programme, titled Porn Again , will be broadcast on Thursday 3 March at 2130 GMT. It will be followed by a special edition of the Tony Livesey Show, when the former minister will take calls from listeners.

 

27th January   

Update: Hackney Stripped of Democracy...

Hackney Council confirm that they are overriding public consultation results and banning further adult venues
Link Here  full story: Strip Pubs in London...London's strip pubs threatened by Hackney Council

Hackney Council logoAs expected, Hackney councillors have confirmed a ban on future strip clubs and sex shops from the borough, despite opposition from workers and residents.

All but two councillors in attendance at the town hall voted for an amended nil licensing policy on sex entertainment establishments.

Fewer than 30% of the people who took part in the council's own consultation on the plans supported the council's nil policy.

The decision means that strip clubs, sex shops and sex cinemas will be outlawed from all of Hackney's wards with the exception of well-run, longstanding establishments, after the licensing committee amended the proposals.

Hackney currently has four strip clubs: Ye Olde Axe, Browns, Rainbow Sports Bar and The White Horse along with sex shop Expectations, all of which are in Haggerston ward.

Hackney Central ward councillor Vincent Stopps welcomed the policy with a very self centred view. He said: I'm really happy to support this. Because of it, I'm going to get a lot less grief about strip clubs and bars opening in my ward so thank you very much.

Cllr Geoff Taylor of Victoria ward and Cllr Angus Mulready-Jones were the only councillors to vote against the policy.

 

18th January   

Wild? We're Livid...

Daily Mail hype Girls Gone Wild events
Link Here

Girls Gone Wild Sexiest Moments The Daily Mail writes:

A controversial U.S. TV show where girls next door are encouraged to strip and binge drink on camera has caused fury in towns and cities across Britain by announcing its first UK tour.

Girls Gone Wild has become notorious in America for hosting wild parties where ordinary women are encouraged to strip and perform provocatively.

The show has long been highly controversial in the U.S. but the outrage is now spreading to Britain after revealing plans to move across the pond for the first time and stage a UK tour. Controversial: Girls Gone Wild hosts parties where normal women are encouraged to behave provocatively

Organisers conducted an online poll and compiled a list of towns and cities where fans have voted for the Girls Gone Wild bus to stop off.

Planned locations include all of Britain's major cities and smaller towns such as Wisbech in Cambrigeshire, Weston-super-Mare in Somerset and Cardigan in Wales. The tour bus will arrive in Britain in May this year.

Sounds fun but the Daily Mail were scraping the barrel a bit to find much 'outrage' to write about:

Councils in a series of British towns are petitioning against the degrading show and fear that it will exploit innocent young women.

Councillor Jude Thurlow, 74, who lives in the market town of Selby, Yorkshire, said: I don't know why people voted for Selby. Opposition: Councilor Jude Thurlow objects to the show visiting Selby Profit: Maybe we have lots of insomniacs who are up at that time of night to vote. I hope that they keep on moving rather than stopping here. Clearly things like this are exploitation. They are not doing it to promote joy, there is always a financial return for the company.

The village of Ashurst Wood, Sussex, has rejected the show and banned it from visiting the area. Ashurst Wood Parish Council ruled that Girls Gone Wild was not an appropriate activity for a Parish Council to be involved with.

 

16th January   

Updated: Democracy Challenged Hackney Council...

Large majority opposing 'nil adult entertainment' policy to be ignored, but existing strip pubs and sex shops are likely to be reprieved
Link Here  full story: Strip Pubs in London...London's strip pubs threatened by Hackney Council

Hackney Council logoMore than 2,700 people answered Hackney Council's questionnaire about their nil adult entertainment policy proposal,

The consultation ran from September 20 to December 13 last year and revealed a large majority of respondents opposing the council's 'nil' policy.

The results were:

  • Supporting a ban on sex cinemas 26%, opposing the ban 66% (remainder said don't know)
  • Supporting a ban on sex shops 19%, opposing the ban 75% (remainder said don't know)
  • Supporting a ban on strip pubs and lap dancing 30%, opposing the ban 66% (remainder said don't know)

Those living in the vicinity of the existing strip pubs in Haggerston were even more opposed to the council's 'nil' policy.

Pressing ahead anyway?

See  article from  hackneycitizen.co.uk

Having considered the responses the consultation, the council is proposing to go ahead with the nil policy across the whole borough.

The council qualifies its stance by stating that:

Given the level of opposition to the 'nil' policy from some respondents and in recognition of the existing establishments that have operated in Haggerston for a considerable period of time it is suggested that these existing premises be treated as a special exception to the 'nil' in policy in Haggerston only.

Such exceptional circumstances will only be applied to the existing establishments if they can demonstrate that their premises islongstanding, well-run, and does not generate significant levels of concern among the community and/or statutory authorities.

Pauline Bristow, partner and licensee of the White Horse on Shoreditch High Street, said she is cautiously optimistic about the news:

We are quite pleased with the results of the survey, but we do feel that we still still be impeded in our renewal application. We feel that Hackney Council will impose some onerous conditions.

We felt that doing the survey might have promoted the voice of people who are against gentleman's venues and encouraged them to say 'we don't want them here'. I think the wording of the policy is very, very wrong, to call us sex establishments implies that sex is going on behind our doors. It should be exotic dancing venues, it is very misleading.

People know they have to behave themselves in these venues, they are not allowed to get away with what they are in normal clubs. Police reports show less problems from our venues than ordinary ones, so what is the problem? We are hopeful, but we are not holding our breath.

The report, which is to be reviewed by the licensing committee on 12 January before being put to full council on 26 January, also states that: While the proposed 'nil' policy may result in no further premises being opened, the policy does not require existing premises to close.

Update: Woeful disregard for resident's views

16th January 2011. See  article from  hackneyhive.co.uk

On Wednesday 12 January, the licensing Committee voted to approve a new nil policy on sex establishments. If approved by full council on 26 January, it means no new adult oriented businesses will be granted a license.

While residents of the borough spoke up against Hackney Council's proposed nil policy towards adult establishments within the borough, it appears the council already had their minds made up, so the decision to go ahead with putting forward a nil policy to full council was not a surprise to me.

...Read the full article

 

13th January   

Update: Spoilsports...

Church nutters oppose lap dancing club already found to not be a nuisance
Link Here  full story: Lap Dancing in Oxford...Thirst for nutter 'outrage'

St Ebbe's church, OxfordSt Ebbe's Church, in Oxford's city centre, said this week it had lodged an official objection to a new licence application from neighbouring Thirst Lodge.

Thirst Lodge has applied to Oxford City Council for a licence to operate as a sexual entertainment venue following a change in the law. The city council has chosen to adopt repressive new powers, which make licensing more restrictive.

The Rev Vaughan Roberts, the rector of St Ebbe's, said: We are reluctant to object to the application by Thirst Lodge for a sexual entertainment venue licence, not least because it could make us look like spoilsports. However, we have decided that we must object.

Earlier this year, the church was left with a 12,000 legal bill after losing an appeal against the decision to allow Thirst Lodge to open. Deputy District Judge Gary Lucie threw out the church's appeal after finding there was no public nuisance, the church's activities rarely overlapped with Thirst Lodge's opening hours and crime in the area had fallen since the club's change of use.

The Rev Roberts said: We believe that lap-dancing clubs demean women, undermine marriage and depersonalise God's good gift of sex, so we would not be in favour of such a club anywhere.

The Rev Pete Wilkinson, associate minister at St Ebbe's agreed, saying: I don't think the club is good for the city and I can scarcely think of a more inappropriate position for it to be.

 

4th January   

Miserable Bristol...

Bristol councillors claim a massage parlour will make a bad area worse
Link Here

Bristol Council logoPlans to convert a house in Bedminster, Bristol into a massage parlour have wound up councillors.

The plans, submitted by Narges Taherzadeh, involve creating a reception on the ground floor and converting the two bedrooms upstairs into massage rooms. A laminated sign  and a projecting hanging sign would be displayed on the property.

But miserable city councillors are predictably unimpressed that some people may get to enjoy sexy fun in their area.

Lord Mayor of Bristol Colin Smith said: It would be totally inappropriate for a wholly residential area such as British Road. It's simply not acceptable. I can't really see the point of putting it in a road where families and children live.

Councillor Mark Bradshaw said: There is a sheltered housing complex not far away as well as a school and children's centre in South Street. It seems to be a very inappropriate application. The area on the corner of British Road Cannon Street and East Street has a history of anti-social behaviour, such as street drinking. We are concerned this might be another catalyst for that sort of behaviour. It's also opposite a pub. It doesn't fit well in a residential area.

People have until January 5 to air their views on the proposals. The council is aiming to make a decision on the application by the end of January.

 

  Sharon Sloane

 

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www.SharonSloane.co.uk
 



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