Plans for a table dancing club in Worcester are set to be withdrawn in response to public 'outrage', but the
applicant is still looking to open a club elsewhere in the city.
The proposal to open the club in the Butts, Worcester was due to be heard by Worcester City Council's licensing committee , but the applicant has opted to withdraw it because of objections raised by the public.
A spokesman for applicant Ash Patel said he remained committed to opening Black Cherry in Worcester and he is now looking at finding a site which would be deemed more suitable.
Gender extremists say they will protest at a three-day conference for adult website operators which began in London today, with talks including State of the Industry: The War on Porn .
The US adult trade group and conference organiser, XBIZ, said the debate would look at the Government's plans.
The extremists from London Feminist Network and Object will wear overalls and masks alluding to their view that the adult industry is toxic . Julia Long from the London Feminist Network said:
At the very moment we are having a national debate on the harms of pornography, and not least the enormous amount of porn in teenagers' and children's lives, XBIZ is holding sessions specifically aimed at combating any attempts to curb access to internet
pornography. Pornographers don't care about the damage their industry does. Their only concern is profit.
Industry lawyer Myles Jackman told the conference website:
Successive governments have mounted a sustained campaign against the UK porn industry and now's the time to fight back.
Scottish Nationalist MSP Sandra White has proposed the creation of a repressive new adult entertainment licence which could
lead to councils banning table dancing.
But in a submission to a Scottish Government consultation, the Association of Adult Entertainment Venues (AAEV), which represents 17 venues, has rejected claims table dancing clubs are a front for prostitution and human trafficking. The group
points out that no arrests, charges or prosecutions have been made in relation to such offences and says ministers misunderstand the industry.
Steve McDonald, a strip club owner and author of the AAEV submission said:
The association and all its members refute in the strongest manner any links to organised crime such as prostitution and human trafficking.
The many layers of control currently provided by the clubs would easily detect such forms of criminality if it was ever apparent on a club's premises.
The association queries why this consultation is taking place as there does not appear to be an issue which requires to be addressed.
About 350 lap dancers are estimated to work in clubs across Scotland, and the AAEV has called for existing venues to be protected from closure to save jobs. A petition setup by dancers says the government should cease the attacks on out industry.
Cheltenham Council killjoys have agreed miserable new rules for clubs and bars that offer table dancing on a
Nightclubs can host table dancing evenings, particularly popular during race week, without the need for a licence, as long as they don't last longer than 24 hours. However, the borough council is in the process of formally adopting a code of practice
which clubs will be advised to follow, or else!
The 15 rules include that customers at a table dancing night must at all times remain fully clothed and that proceedings are recorded on CCTV.
Meanwhile, the council has added the sensible rule that licensed table dancing venues must now prominently display a legible tariff of all prices to avoid any arguments with customers over what they owe. A council spokeswoman said the
charge sheet will be brought in because in the past there have been issues of disorder to do with disagreement over payment and charges .
Louis Krog, licensing and business burdening team leader at the borough council, said:
The law does not require premises that offer infrequent sexual entertainment to have a licence. The council nonetheless recognise the need to ensure that unlicensed sexual entertainment is conducted properly. The council will expect any premises that
does offer exempt sexual entertainment to adhere to the code of practice.
The council does not have any powers to enforce the code of practice but clubs with temporary table dancing would still need to have an entertainment licence. Any club not adhering to the rules could have their entertainment and alcohol licences reviewed
as a result of any trouble from not applying the code.
Moralist councillor Barbara Driver had pushed for the new rules and crowed:
We have to take a little bit more control of what goes on in Cheltenham at night. We are not trying to stop people's fun ...BUT... we need to keep an eye on it.
Hopefully it will make a difference. If they want to carry on trading they will have to play by the rules. That is what society does.
The UKs Internet Video censor, ATVOD wants to convince banks to withhold card payment services to hardcore
websites that don't follow the overcautious restrictions on access to hardcore material by under 18s. ATVOD demand that only credit card holders, (not debit card holders) should be allowed to access hardcore material.
ATVOD claims to have powers to fine British companies for making unrestricted hardcore material available but this unilateral approach is suffocating British business. The ATVOD approach to the card companies is an attempt to penalise foreign companies
outside of British control.
Financial organisations and the video censor will meet next month to discuss ATVOD's requests.
The Daily Telegraph reports that it is hoped a voluntary deal will be agreed with credit card firms, perhaps heeding the warning that: Government sources have made it clear that ministers would be prepared to consider legislation, if necessary.
Atvod is expected to announce details of action it has taken against British businesses next week.
A summit will be held with the UK Cards Association, the British Bankers Association, the Payments Council and the leading credit card companies early next month, the paper reported.
Johnson said that the financial services firms had given a very positive response to the proposal. But surely the card companies will be a bit aware that if they agree to ATVOD's requests, they will get an endless stream of moralists calling for
the same treatment of their pet prohibitions.
Plans to double the size of a Leeds table dancing club have been rejected.
Illuminati Ventures, the company behind the Black Diamond club on New Briggate in the city centre, had applied for permission to expand the venue from two floors to four. But Leeds City Council's licensing sub-committee turned down the plan.
Gender extremists had previously railroaded through a council policy that only 4 venues should be allowed in Leeds, when in fact there are 7 currently operating.
The licensing committee cited this morality cap as one reason for rejecting the company's expansion plan. Members also spouted the unimaginative bollox that the venue was in a sensitive location and could create the wrong impression of Leeds
because it sits at a gateway to the city.
Representatives of Illuminati Ventures told the Yorkshire Evening Post that they were undecided about whether to take the matter further. They added that they had not decided if they would reopen the club under the terms of the existing licence covering
Chester's only table dancing club is facing an uncertain future after failing to get its licence renewed.
The decision concerning the Platinum Lounge on Bridge Street Row was made at a Cheshire West and Chester Council licensing committee hearing. A spokesman explained a very spurious sounding reason:
We have rejected the application for a renewal of the licence on the grounds the area has become far more residential than it was when the licence was first issued.
Regulations consider such premises to be acceptable only within largely commercial areas.
But the area in question has seen a lot of commercial properties being turned into homes and consequently it is now more residential.
The council didn't bother mention exactly how many commercial properties have been turned into residences. Probably just a handful.
The Platinum Lounge has yet to comment on the decision. If the club decides to appeal, this will be via a judicial review.
One of the main voices of opposition to the renewal was Labour Cllr Samantha Dixon. . She moralised:
Furthermore, I believe it is inappropriate for a sex entertainment venue to be located on the city's historic Rows which are an important heritage asset for Chester.
As part of their application for renewal, the Platinum Lounge owners pointed out it has been operating since November 2005 and gives regular employment to about 40 people.
Recalling European Law
Perhaps a good time to recall a piece on European law designed to prevent councils from destroying businesses on a whim. From an article
First of all the article noted that an existing licence is considered in law as a protected possession in human rights law:
It has been accepted that a licence is classed as a possession capable of protection under Article 1 of the First Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights.
This clearly states that a person has a right to peaceful enjoyment of his possessions and the case of Tre Traktorer Aktiebolag v Sweden (1989) 13 EHRR classifies a licence as something capable of protection.
Not something that can councils can take away on a moralist or feminist whim.
Secondly there are European requirements imported into UK law that impose standard conditions on councils when considering licence applications:
The Provision of Services Regulations [S.I. 2009/2999]. Regulation 24(1) imposes three important tests highlighting that any refusal must be:
Surely this would allow failed applicants to ask a court 'exactly how necessary was it for a council to refuse a license for a venue because a few commercial properties have been converted into homes?
Chester's only table dancing club has hit back at a decision to remove its licence for adult entertainment by taking
the girls on tour.
Director of operations Nigel Woodhouse pointed out the law allows every licensed premises to hold lap dancing events 11 times a year, without conditions, meaning his erotic dancers can still perform at the existing club and other city venues.
The first event will take place on September 28 at The Platinum Lounge which will convert to a late bar from November.
Woodhouse said: We are planning on taking the Platinum Lounge on tour around as many venues as we can in the city. If any bar, club or function room operators want to hold an event please let us know.
Taking Back the Night? Gender and the Contestation of Sexual Entertainment in England and Wales
By Colosi and Hubbard (forthcoming in Urban Studies, 2014)
Despite important moves towards gender equality, the experience of the night-time city remains profoundly different for women and men. The visibility of self-styled 'gentleman's clubs' where female dancers perform for a predominantly male clientele has
been taken as prime evidence of this persistent inequity. Opposition to such clubs has hence been vocal, with the result that many local authorities in England and Wales have moved to ban clubs within their jurisdiction utilising the powers of the
Policing and Crime Act, 2009. This paper explores the arguments that have per- suaded policy-makers to refuse licences for such venues, particularly the idea that sexual entertainment causes specific harms to women. The paper does not question the
veracity of such arguments, but instead explores why sexual entertainment venues have become a target of feminist campaigning, situating this opposition in the context of long-standing debates about the vulnerability of women in the night- time city.
TV production company Firecracker Films is making a documentary series about Edinburgh's table dancers.
Channel 4 has confirmed that Firecracker will film a character-led observational documentary series about performers in the city's best-known lap dancing bars. A spokeswoman said:
Firecracker are in the early stages of looking at making a character-led observational documentary series for Channel 4 about the variety of communities and businesses that exist side-by-side in the historic city of Edinburgh.
The Evening News understands venues in the so-called pubic triangle next to the Grassmarket, along with Lothian Road's Club Rouge, have been visited on a number of occasions by Firecracker since mid-July.
Table dancing managers said they hoped a series about strip bars would overhaul outdated attitudes towards the adult entertainment industry. Alex Smith, manager at Club Rouge on Lothian Road, where around 15 members of staff including DJs and
doormen have had talks with Firecracker, said:
We've said that we don't have a problem with them filming and talking to our girls. The series is going to be featuring the girls themselves -- they want to follow what happens to them outside of work as well as inside the clubs. It's going to be them
going to college, being single mums, their hobbies.
Table dancing and strip clubs in the East End could be under threat if new proposals to ban them are given the go ahead.
A nil policy for new sex establishments was voted through by members of Tower Hamlets Council's cabinet last Thursday. But councillors say the 11 existing premises currently licensed as sexual entertainment venues will be able to carry on
providing strip tease and lap dances.
Deputy mayor Cllr Ohid Ahmed claimed that the zero tolerance policy is a response to complaints by residents about sex clubs in the borough. However a recent public consultation did showed a lot of support for the adult businesses and certainly did not
support a total ban on new businesses.
He insisted existing clubs would be allowed to continue providing lap dances and strip teases if they do not break conditions .
Gareth Hughes, of Jeffrey Green Russell solicitors, said:
When you get to the application for the licence they could very well find some spurious reason to refuse it, so I have concerns that the assurances given may not be enough.
Any lap dance venue would always be near a school, or a mosque or something like that. There's certainly a moral and religious objection to them, but no crime and disorder; otherwise police would have been involved in it, and they are not.
The policy must be ratified by the full council before being implemented.
Male and female readers of the Sun strongly support Page 3 topless models, according to the chief executive of the paper's publisher
Mike Darcey said that ultimately any decision on the future of the Page 3 models is up to the Sun's editor, David Dinsmore, but that he believed customers are very happy with the Sun's editorial offering.
Darcey said that focus groups with those readers showed that both male and female Sun readers are happy to continue to see Page 3 in the UK's best selling daily.
There are around 12 million people a week who read the Sun and they are very happy with the package that is the Sun. And so they continue to buy it. We ask them, we have focus groups with them, ask what they think and they very strongly continue to
support that. That's true across male readers, female readers. And in the end this is a product people can choose to buy or not to buy.
Lib Dem MP Stephen Gilbert had set up a House of Commons debate to whinge about venues arranging occasional lap dancing events in Newquay.
He introduced his debate by admitting to being a begrudging 'liberal':
I want to say first what the debate is not. This is not a debate that is led by prudish intolerance in relation to sexual entertainment. I have never been to a lap-dancing club, and my view is that real men do not buy women for entertainment, but, as a
Liberal, I accept that if adults want to make such choices, that is up to them. The debate is about ensuring consistency in the application of the regulation of sexual entertainment on our high streets. It is about ensuring that performers in and patrons
of sexual entertainment venues---lap-dancing clubs---are properly protected and that local communities are involved in the decision-making process about where and when such venues should operate.
His basic contention was that occasional events allowed under licensing law were not governed by repressive council rules designed to ensure that table dancing is totally devoid of sexual entertainment such as dancers having to stay 3 feet aprt from
Jeremy Browne, the Not So Liberal Democrat Home Office minister, seemed to agree about the need for prudery and warned that venues are abusing an exemption intended to allow one-off events such as hiring a strip-a-gram for a birthday party.
He claimed one venue used the exemption after being refused a sexual entertainment licence following protests by a few residents. He said:
The venue in question has now begun operating sexual entertainment events within the exemptions of the Act.
This is not the occasional use of a strip-a-gram but a full 24 hour window once a month to operate as a full sexual entertainment venue.
This exemption has led, in Newquay, to lap-dancing nights being offered on this so-called occasional basis in direct competition to a licensed venue, but without any of the obligations that the licensed venue needs to meet.
Gilbert called for the Government to amend the law and suggested that venues hosting lap dancing events be subject to the same stringent requirements as licensed clubs. He said:
This would require minimal effort in terms of legislation, as the existing law does allow the relevant national authority to order, amend or repeal the exemption clause without the need for primary legislation.
Speaking on behalf of the Government, Jeremy Browne said he would look the matter to see whether the legislation is being used as it is supposed to. He said:
There may be some scope for us to make changes so that that flexibility is exercised in a way that is in line with the spirit of what Parliament intended when this legislation was announced in 2009.
It is possible for ingenious owners of bars to use the exemptions in a way which gives them more scope to provide regular entertainment of a sexual entertainment than was envisaged by ministers and Parliament when this legislation was introduced in 2009.
[If] an individual owned four or five venues in a single town, it would be possible for an individual to put on a sexual entertainment evening every Saturday night at one of those venues. In a way that goes beyond the spirit of the exemptions.
The Guardian itself appears to be becoming increasingly censored, especially on anything sex-related. What had originally seemed like the work of a few puritan journalists now seems to be official editorial policy
The Radisson Hotel is set to host the XBIZ porn conference in London on September 22-25th.
US nutters from Morality in Media, as well as casting libellous aspersions about attendees, are calling in supporters to write to the Radisson asking managers to end the conference. Morality in Media claim on the Porn Harms website:
We are outraged that they will provide space to an industry that is based on making a profit from brutalizing women.
Email Radisson and let them know your opposition. The hotel is not only supporting the sexual exploitation of women but also putting female employees at risk because men who sexually abuse women for profit will be staying there and in close
proximity to female employees.
Pornography puts all women at risk by teaching men that women only have value as sexual objects, are always available as willing participants, and are thus legitimate targets of sexual harassment, abuse and rape.
The group offer a template letter for supporters to send to the hotel:
Dear Radisson Board Members,
I am writing to protest your hotel hosting the XBIZ porn conference in London on 22-25th September. I am outraged that you would provide space to an industry that is based on making a profit from brutalizing women.
Moreover, pornography puts all women at risk by teaching men that women only have value as sexual objects, are always available as willing participants, and are thus legitimate targets of sexual harassment, abuse and rape.
You are [especially] putting at risk all the female employees who work at your hotel during the XBIZ conference because men who sexually abuse women for profit will be staying in your hotel, eating in your hotel, and will be in close proximity to
women employees who work at your hotel so they can feed themselves and their families.
Please take this letter as a warning notice regarding these risks. Should a female employee be the victim of sexual harassment or assault, then your knowledge of these risks will increase your negligence and liability. Should you ignore this
letter, our campaign could cause serious damage to your reputation and revenue.
Please consider this before you provide a venue to an industry that does serious damage to the health and well-being of women and children.
Bradford Council plans to cut the amount it will charge for the licensing of sex shops and zoos, following a Court of Appeal
The cost of a licence for a sex shop, sex cinema or strip club is likely to be reduced from £5,658 to £1,928.
The Court of Appeal ruled in a case involving Westminster City Council that licence fees for sex shops must be reasonable and proportionate, and could not include the costs of enforcing or monitoring unlicensed businesses.
The plans will now be considered by the Regulatory and Appeals Committee.
Dancers could be forced by morality police to cover-up and wear G-strings if they are women and posing pouches
if they are men at a proposed table dancing club in Worcester.
Police do not object in principle to granting a licence to the Black Cherry in The Butts, Worcester, at what used to be Images and then Funk nightclub, but want to attach morality conditions.
Worcester City Council didn't adopt 2009 legislation so the application must be considered under standard licensing rules under 2003 legislation.
A letter from Inspector Jane Francis, of West Mercia Police, to licensing officer Carl Phillips reveals that Police are taking it on themselves to make up the rules about nudity. Francis says full nudity should be permitted only within designated
areas. She said:
In all other areas within the premises the performers and employees must at all times wear at least a G-string (female) and/or pouch (male) covering the genitalia.
During private dances there must be no deliberate contact by the performer with the patron except where they lead them by the hand to a private room, a handshake greeting at the beginning or ending of the performance, a customary peck on the
cheek and the placing of cash or dance vouchers into the hand or garter of the performer.
The application is set to be discussed by the council on September 26.
The Nordic Choice hotel chain is in the process of converting to Bring Your Own Porn (BYOP). It
is in the process of replacing in room porn channels with contemporary art.
The chain's owner, Petter Stordalen has made ludicrous and defamatory claims that the porn industry contributes to trafficking. He said:
The porn industry contributes to trafficking, so I see it as a natural part of having a social responsibility to send out a clear signal that Nordic Hotels doesn't support or condone this.
Starting with his flagship hotel in Norway's capital, Stordalen has now replaced porn with interactive TVs in each room offering "art on demand" with a choice of nine works of contemporary video art, including Sam Taylor-Wood's Still
Life from 2001" -- a film showing a bowl of fruit slowly decomposing.
Stordalen plans to roll out video art to other hotels, with Copenhagen next on the list.
Managers at Club Rouge in Edinburgh has said that efforts are under way to create an independent dance
censor which would cooperate with licensing officers and police to ensure elf 'n' safety in strip clubs and adult entertainment venues across the Capital and Scotland.
They said the body would issue certificates of good practice to businesses only after they introduced measures to clamp down on abusive customers, unhygienic working environments and unfair charges imposed on dancers when clubs are busy or
when they phone in sick.
Day-to-day monitoring and enforcement would still be carried out by police and licensing officers though.
Alex Smith, manager of Club Rouge, said:
This is an opportunity for the clubs to say that from now on, they're going to work together for a better environment.
He said meetings would soon take place with senior councillors to move the process forward, with the new dance censor on a voluntary basis and financed through a mixture of public money and contributions from the industry.
Licensing staff said they were receptive to the idea. A spokeswoman said:
The council would welcome any initiative to encourage industry good practice, however we would need more information on this specific proposal to be able to comment further.
Lap dancers at a Bristol club have been giving customers more fun than the miserable council allowed.
One performer has been suspended and two have been reprimanded by bosses for kissing and other physical contact.
Magistrates fined the venue around £16,500 for five licensing breaches. Temptations' manager Valerie Hoare was also ordered to pay £1,550 for two breaches.
Bristol Magistrates Court heard how CCTV from Temptations examined after an unannounced visit from licensing staff in January showed three dancers getting closer than the council allowed in the private booths .
Bristol's Sexual Entertainment Venue licence states that customers and performers are not allowed to touch each other during a performance. But the prosecution said: The footage from all three cameras showed extensive and repeated contact
between customers and performers. The court heard this included one stripper holding a customer's face and giving him a kiss while he had his hands on her buttocks. Other footage showed a dancer sitting on a customer's lap, while in another
booth a performer touched a man's leg with hers.
Recommended by Nutters
A handful of Bristol miserablists have raised a petition calling for the closure of Bristol's two table dancing clubs and its only lap dancing club at Temptations.
The petitioners are recommending:
Central Chambers 9 St Stephen's St, Bristol BS1 1EE
9 objections from the public were received about the renewal of a licence of Central Chambers. It has been reported that this was renewed yesterday (16th Sept) with some fairly colourful language apparently used by a campaigner to describe the
head of the three-strong licensing committee.
Feminist campaigner Bristol_Jane was live tweeting yesterday's hearing at City Hall, during which she called Conservative group leader Peter Abraham a sexist, misogynistic fuckface . The offending tweet has now been removed.
Miserable Westminster Council is trying to hide Soho's colourful heritage after ordering a restaurant to remove neon signs harking back to its former glory as London's red light district.
The signs, which read peep show and adult video , were installed outside the fashionable restaurant, La Bodega Negra, early last year as a homage to the area's history.
But after a nine-month fight with Westminster City Council, the restaurant, in Old Compton Street, has been issued with a discontinuance notice to remove the signs, claiming they cause substantial injury to the area. The council noted that
Soho is a conservation area.
Westminster council claims:
The continued display of the neon advertisement is considered to constitute a substantial injury to the amenity of the area.
The restaurant argues that the signs, designed by Serge Becker, the creative director of La Esquina in New York and The Box in London, are a work of art and have become a landmark in their own right. Restaurant owner Will Ricker vowed to fight
council bosses by keeping the signs in place. He said:
They have completely failed to mention that it was the centre of the capital's sex industry, which made Soho famous globally and a tourist attraction.
And now as it slowly changes away from that, we wanted to make a statement that paid homage to the cultural importance of that epoch. Particularly as its remnants are being eradicated by landlords, the council and technology, the neons are a
remnant of a vanishing, golden era that should be celebrated, not forgotten.
Oxford council arbitraily banned Oxford's table dancing club, The Lodge. The High Court initially backed the council's decision but now the club
owner has been granted to appeal against the ban at the Court of Appeal. Club owner Al Thompson said:
"Following on from our surprise at the Judicial Review we are pleased to have confirmation that the Court of Appeal has granted us permission to appeal the High Court decision."
The Lodge was forced to close in June when the city council denied it an entertainment licence.
Sex entertainment venues have been banned in Swansea. Moralist councillors voted to change the current policy from each
application being dealt with on its own merits to one where they will normally be refused .
It covers lap dancing, pole dancing, table dancing, strip shows, peep shows and live sex shows.
Swansea currently has no venues with a licence for sex entertainment after the last one ran out in April. The last holder was not able to use its licence as the council is the property's leaseholder and did not agree a change of planning use.
Concerns have been raised that the city centre has too many bars A councillor said: There are already 252 pubs, clubs, restaurants and off-licences in the city centre and with so many in such a small area it has created problems for the
police with rising crime and disorder there.
But of course there is likely to be even more trouble if there are not enough bars. Drunk customers forced to wait in queues is a recipe for trouble. Queues are notorious for fights breaking out caused by perceived queue jumping.
Illuminati Ventures has applied to Leeds City Council for permission to expand the current Black Diamond club on
New Briggate from two floors to four. And now a report to the council's City Plans Panel recommends the venue, which is near The Grand Theatre, should be given permission to double its size.
Gender extremist Sandra McNeill from Support After Rape and Sexual Assault Leeds (SARSVL) whinged:
I am very, very surprised because Leeds City Council has agreed to limit the number of lap dancing clubs to four. The majority of members of the Citizens' Panel said that Briggate was not suitable for lap dancing clubs. It's next to The Grand
Theatre and that makes it a sensitive location and not suitable.
Although Black Diamond/Tantric Blue is located near to family leisure facilities (the Grand Theatre and the Arena), and close to New Briggate, this does not automatically mean that the licence will not be granted.
The proposed use it compatible with the Entertainment Quarter designation. Evidence suggests that the use would be likely to have less of a direct impact on the amenities of the locality than the use of the building primarily as a drinking
No objections have been raised by consultees, including the Police and Environmental Protection and accordingly, on balance, the application is recommended for approval.
A competition on a website selling sex toys, www.sexshop365.co.uk, for the Adult Blog Awards 2013 stated Welcome [sic] the
Sex Shop 365 annual 'Adult Blog Awards 2013', we have decided to give the community of sex bloggers around the world [sic] to enter and become further recognised and have their loyal fan bases vote them. Here you will find a list of ranked blogs, anyone
can sign up, if you have an established website, WordPress or even a BlogSpot account, we want you to enter. All you have to do is sign up, you can then add the banner code to your page, and you can get people to start voting for you! This code will be
sent once your website has been approved by our checking team. The prizes for the Adult Blog Awards come straight from Sex Shop 365 HQ, £ 300 worth of sex toys and goodies! Voting closes 25th April 2013 .
Further text stated Rules Any blogs submitted must be live and being updated at least twice monthly ... A voting button is provided upon registering, you can use the vote link independently...Voting closes 25th April and winners announced the day
after. [..] Votes are converted into daily averages to allow blogs to join awards at any point of the competition without being disadvantaged .
A complainant, whose blog had been removed from the competition and who also believed the competition winner was a company employee, challenged whether the promotion had been administered fairly.
ASA Assessment: Complaint not upheld
The complainant said she had contacted the company when she noticed her blog was no longer listed on the awards web page as participating and was told that blogs that were inactive for two weeks were removed automatically. I D Web clarified in their
response to the complaint that the blogs were removed only from the listings on their website, and not from the competition itself. The ASA understood that voting was promoted on the individual blogs in question, and that the complainant had stopped
asking her readers to vote for her, which explained why there was a period of inactivity. We therefore did not consider that the removal of inactive blogs from the list of top 18 participating blogs during the competition had disadvantaged the
complainant or been unfair. We considered it would have been preferable for this software issue to have been communicated to participants once I D Web became aware of it, but noted they did not intend to use the same software again if they ran the awards
in future. The complainant had also raised concerns that the winner was a company employee. However, because the winner was decided by readers votes only we did not consider the awarding of a prize to a freelance blogger who had worked for the company in
the past meant the promotion had been administered unfairly. We concluded the promotion did not breach the Code.
We investigated the promotion under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 8.2 (Sales promotions) and 8.17.1 (Significant conditions for promotions) but did not find it in breach.
Swansea Council is considering a morality policy of banning table dancing from the city.
The local authority will consider introducing a new amendment to its licensing policy next week.
Council leader David Phillips claimed there was support for the idea, following a public consultation which was carried out earlier this year. He said:
The council cannot prevent organisations from making applications to establish these kinds of venues, but we can look to introduce changes in the licensing policies which state clearly that the appropriate number of these venues in certain areas is nil.
From the feedback we have had there is strong support, particularly in the city centre, for the concept that the appropriate number of sex entertainment venues in the city centre is nil.
The city centre aims to be a place which is welcoming to families at all times of the day and evening. There is also a growing residential presence in the city centre and strong faith communities are established there.
Local authorities are not allowed to make their decisions on any moral basis and the council's licensing committee would still have to consider each application on its merits.
When prospective table dancing club, Black Cherry, applied to Worcester Council for a sex entertainment
licence, it was noted that Worcester Council has not adopted the legislation requiring such a licence, and so an ordinary drinks licence also allows table dancing.
The licence process has now been reset and the venue will apply for the old style drinks licence.
A new period of consultation has now begun, which will end on August 20. The 16 people who registered objections to the previous application have all been contacted and told of the new application.
The first lap dancing club in the Highlands is set to open tonight sparking 'outrage' from the Free Church of
Private Eyes at Hush Nightclub in Inverness was granted a licence to operate an adults licence earlier this year.
A Free Church of Scotland spokesman wailed:
We are hugely disappointed and saddened that the first lap dancing club in the Highlands will be opening.
Over recent weeks a number of our members have been dismayed at the news -- and local ministers have heard particularly from young families who are already deeply concerned about the accessibility of sexually suggestive material to children and young
people. Bringing a lap dancing club to one of the busiest streets in Inverness will make this worse not better.
Lap dancing sends out a very clear message that women are to be stared at like animals in a zoo.
We cannot believe in modern 21st century Scotland that there is not universal opposition to such a demeaning and exploitative form of 'entertainment'.
Around 20 girls have been hired to put on shows during a four-night run in Inverness, where the owners will gauge the popularity.
Oxford City Council refused a sex entertainment licence for The Lodge for no particularly good reason except that the council had changed its mind after being
petitioned by morality campaigners.
Then licensee, Alistair Thompson, asked for a Judicial Review of the council decision but was recently turned down by the High Court, more or less confirming that the council can change its mind if it wants to.
It seems that Thompson is set to appeal the ruling, and that if so, then The Lodge should be able to continue operating until that appeal is heard.
Now lawyers at Blake Lapthorn have made some pertinent comments about the council licence rejection:
Despite the fact that Mr Thompson had been granted a licence, and that the premises were in exactly the same place as the year before, with no one having complained about his operation of the premises, he had been deprived of the licence to operate. He
argued he had spent tens of thousands of pounds on a business and provided considerable local employment into the bargain, on the back of his licence which was granted to him but which had now been taken away from him through no obvious fault of his own.
The argument that a premises licence is an item of property that attracts property rights under international and domestic human rights law does not seem to have been argued fully before the High Court. However in his evidence before the Sub Committee Mr
Thompson pointed out that he had invested tens of thousands of pounds in good faith on the strength of his being granted a licence only to see the rules change and him having to surrender that licence despite the fact that the premises had been operating
perfectly happily and no one ever having complained about the running of the venue.
We cannot imagine that the public at large would consider it could be right to permit a business to operate under licence so that they invest in their business only to change the rules and require them to have to get another licence every year. Guidance
issued by the Secretary of State accepts that it is improper for Council's to grant licences, then adopt a Cumulative Impact Policy and then seek to curtail the hours of operation etc of premises under those licences by means of a premises licence
review. The analogy with the present case is clear.
It must be right that a person who is granted a licence to carry on an activity at premises must be allowed to continue with that activity until such time as there is sufficient complaint about the use of those premises for that activity. That did not
happen in Salisbury and it did not happen in Oxford, yet Mr Thompson is now deprived of his licence.
Leeds Council has adopted the policy to close table dancing businesses that have done nothing except offend the morality
The number of lap dancing clubs in Leeds will now be set at a maximum of 4 but it is not yet clear how Leeds will select the businesses for closure and how they will work around the illegality of closing businesses without reason.
Existing licences would be reviewed when they come up for renewal later this year, the council said. The new morality rules will come into force from September.
Perhaps Leeds Council need to consider some of the legal points from the previous post.
A significant fire at a lap-dancing club in Swindon was caused by a car being reversed into the building and
set alight, the club's owner has said.
Emergency crews were called to the Dream Lounge club at 7am to find both the car and building ablaze.
Club owner Pete Rogers said his CCTV footage clearly showed the fire was started deliberately:
Somebody had actually reversed into the front of the building, jumped out of the sunroof, poured petrol on the car and set fire to it.
Wiltshire Police said the car's driver had left the scene before they arrived. No-one was injured in the incident.
Wiltshire Police sergeant Mark Simpson said:
We are conducting a thorough investigation with colleagues from Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, including analysis of CCTV in the area. We know that there were several people in the area shortly before the car hit the building and I would like to hear from
anyone with information.
A man has admitted endangering life when he smashed a car into the front of a lap dancing club which then caught fire. Faisal Qaddus was behind the wheel of a black Honda Prelude which was reversed into the front door of Dream Lounge at the bottom of
Victoria Road. He pleaded guilty to damaging property being reckless as to whether life was endangered.
The man who torched a lap dancing club after driving his car into the front door had attacked the premises twice before. Faisal Qaddus was caught on CCTV smashing windows with a hammer a year before the arson last summer. But the 27-year-old was never
prosecuted for the offences after the police learned he is a paranoid schizophrenic and his family offered to pay for the damage.
The revelation came as he was jailed for four years at Swindon Crown
A popular strip club in the Edinburgh is to remove silhouettes of women from its windows amid ludicrous criticisms they are
dragging the city down.
PC extremist, Councillor Karen Doran, Labour group member for the city centre, said:
I am delighted the club has listened to what residents are saying on this, the others should follow suit.
I think that anyone wishing to attend one of these clubs will be well aware of where they are and do not require vulgar windows to show them the way.
You have an area that is highly populated with families. Lothian Road is a very special street and you have all these images of women -- it's just not acceptable.
Cllr Doran claimed she had been approached repeatedly by people living in her ward who said they did not feel comfortable walking past the silhouettes on strip bars in the city centre. She spouted:
The silhouettes of women in various poses prominently displayed on the windows of these clubs have been of great concern to my constituents.
Council member Chris Wigglesworth added:
For women particularly, the silhouettes are offensive. It's just the feeling of being slightly intimidated by them -- I know people find them quite unpleasant. It's also the fact they are so prominently placed -- it just creates the wrong impression.
In the real world, we have a enough people in Blackpool who enjoy the adult entertainment of table dancing to suggest that
business people would like to try and make money from another venue. The idea is opposed by moralists.
Now in the surreal world of political correctness, we have a total bullshit fantasy woven around disabled rights and health & safety, reported as follows:
The bosses of Eden, on the Promenade, applied to Blackpool Council for permission to open a new club on Queen Street, Eden 1. To approve the licence would have been against the council's policy of having a maximum four licensed lap dancing venues in the
Eden owners believed their new business would cater for mobility impaired customers saying that no other venue had proper and step free access for disabled people.
Councillors were supposedly concerned about the safety of the two-storey building, which has a lift, in the event of a fire and the committee voted against granting a licence.
The licensing dept also claimed that there is no proven demand for striptease among the disabled (Presumably they didn't bother with any market research to verify this). sevlicensing.wordpress.com
pointed out that this is not really relevant anyway given demand for a particular premise is not a factor that licensing should take account of (i.e. you can't refuse to licence a business because you think it has no market, as that is contrary to the EU
I wonder what disabled people think about their role as decoys in morality battles.
Oxford's only lap-dancing club has lost a High Court Judicial Review of the council decision to refuse to renew its sexual entertainment licence.
The Lodge Gentlemen's Club in Oxpens Road was refused a licence by the city council in October, which claimed it was inappropriate for the area.
Its owner now plans to take the matter to the Court of Appeal. Alistair Thompson said:
We are shocked and very disappointed with the judgment. It has huge implications, not just on our business, but for the night time industry as a whole. Our legal team advise us we have a very strong case to take forward an appeal.
The club had challenged the reasons the council gave for refusing the licence and also argued irrelevant and inaccurate factors were taken into account when considering the area's character.
Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, sitting in the administrative court of the High Court, dismissed both grounds made for the appeal along with a third factor of apparent bias by a member of Oxford City Council's licensing registration sub-committee.
Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival was recently refused the right to stage events at Hebden Bridge Picture House by the Town Council's Sub Committee with the following explanation:
The Picture House Committee does not feel that it is appropriate for Hebden Royd Town Council to be associated with the Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival. Burlesque arouses strong feelings, and many people feel it is demeaning to women, and raises
issues of gender equality. It is also inevitable if held in the Hebden Bridge Picture House that it would be seen to be associated with Hebden Royd Town Council, so the committee declines the approach to host a part of the Hebden Bridge Burlesque
Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival organisers commented:
We believe that when a request is made to use a public building, that request should be considered fully and without prejudice and that if such an event is legal, permission to stage such an event should not be refused, regardless of the personal
opinions of Councillors. The show we proposed to stage at The Picture House would have been covered by the Public Entertainment License already in place for the venue. Burlesque is a legal and legitimate artform. We object to being told that the people
of Hebden Bridge are not capable of deciding for themselves whether they wish to purchase a ticket for a Burlesque show, that our show is not appropriate use of a public building.
Mary Whitehouse clone, councillor Susan Press, explained how the ban came about:
Because I knew thus was a contentious issue I consulted all Labour Town Councillors and the leader of the Lib Dems Tony Hodgins. He agreed with the consensus view the Festival was inappropriate .
I am no Mary Whitehouse. I recognise opinion is divided and some women see Burlesque as empowering. Our councillors also recognise that for many others, particularly women, burlesque also represents the sexual objectification of women and it raised
difficult issues for us. Our Friends of The Picture House rep confirmed opinion re the Festival was sharply divided as far as they were concerned
We recognised we were in a difficult situation whichever decision we made but decided on balance that offending a significant portion of Hebden Royd was not acceptable . There are other more appropriate venues in Calderdale where the Burlesque Festival
But at least some Lib-Dems recognised the censorship for what it was. Councillor James Baker said:
A contentious issue like this should have been referred back to full council. I've spoken to Cllr Hodgins today and he says it was a bad decision and he felt he was given an accurate picture of what this festival was. At our next group meeting I hope the
Lib Dems will decide to oppose this as a group.
It is my intention to bring a motion to Council opposing cultural censorship and allowing equal access to community facilities like the Picture House. Sadly this motion may not be able to reverse this ban now it has been made as I believe the committee
has devolved powers to determine issues relating o the Picture House. However I hope the committee will reverse the decision based on the views of many people who would like it to go ahead.
For those who don't enjoy this sort of thing then I suggest you don't go to the event. I personally don't like some films or shows and I just stay away and let other people get on with living their lives. If we all sought to ban what we found offensive
it wouldn't be a very free society to live in.
I hope the festival supporters appreciate many people and liberal councillors are opposed to this ban.
Coun Wright, who chairs the town council's events committee, confirmed he suggested online that the performance could instead be hosted in Keighley. But his idea has been attacked by resident Elizabeth Mitchell, who said it amounted to inviting an all
female, full nudity striptease festival .
Mitchell, a member of the Cavetown Council group that has been fiercely critical of Keighley Town Council, ranted:
Should Coun Wright not be asking for the opinions of the electorate on such an emotive issue?
And should he not be seeking guidance from his fellow councillors by raising this at full council?
She also asked what venue in Keighley could possibly be thought of as suitable by Coun Wright for an event like this.
Coun Wright responded:
Anyone who knows anything about British burlesque would understand it is an art form.
Obviously, Mrs Mitchell is ignorant in what she understands burlesque to be. For her to attribute a suggestion that I want to see an 'all female, full nudity, striptease festival' is at the very best deluded, and shows her poor grasp of British tradition
What a strange, half-hearted anti-censorship piece by Nick Cohen!
Whyever should we hate porn ? Is Cohen the only man on the planet never to have enjoyed a wank?
While he reaches the right, anti-censorship conclusion, Cohen really engages in churnalism , rehashing pro-censorship facts that are at best questionable. Most obviously, the making of rape movies in Britain is not itself illegal. The
censorship issues arise around the unwillingness of the BBFC to pass pornographic representations of rape, and the consequent ilegality of selling them because of the VRA 1984, and possibly with the OPA 1959. In citing figures for the massive number of
prosecutions under the Dangerous Pictures Act, Cohen doesn't seem to have had the intellectual curiosity to look at the debate around its introduction and the anticipated thirty prosecutions a year. Nor does he seem to have registered the widely reported
recent case (covered in his own paper) of a gay man persecuted under this women-protecting legislation.
Organisers of A Festival of Erotica due to take place in Glastonbury say they will be back with
a new venue later this summer
Mendip District Council have cancelled a booking for the festival, which had been scheduled to take place at Tor Sport and Leisure Centre on Saturday night.
Organiser Yuri Leitch said:
It is very frustrating but we are not giving up. We shall take our local artists to Bath and will put on a 'Banned in Glastonbury' show.
He said they hope to relaunch their Festival of Erotica later this summer at an alternative venue in Glastonbury. He accused Mendip District Council of unfair behaviour and censorship of by cancelling the booking at the leisure centre. He added:
It is also completely out of touch with what Glastonbury people want. The town is liberal and our show had no full nudity, it was mainly just fun and frolics, laughter, innuendo and tease.
County councillor George Steer rather suggest that it was moralism behind the ban:
I think something like that would be fine in a big city, but it's not really the right sort of thing for Glastonbury.
The official reason for the cancellation sounds to be bollox as irregular events do not need an adult entertainment licence. The managing director of Avalon Leisure, Rob Taylor, confirmed that he had been behind the decision to cancel:
I took the decision simply because it was an event which was out of our remit, he said. We just don't have an adult entertainment licence, so it was outside the remit of our lease agreement. The decision was made, he said, following a discussion with
Mendip District Council.
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