Lap Dancing in Oxford

 Thirst for nutter 'outrage'



1st February
2009
  

Thirst For Nonsense...


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Oxford Lap dancing plans cancelled after nutter opposition

Thirst LodgeThirst Lodge, a popular Oxford nightclub and cocktail bar, has abandoned its plans to host lap-dancing nights after opposition from nutters and students.

The club withdrew its application for a lap-dancing licence after the nutters of nearby St Ebbe's Church voiced outrage at the proposal.

Members of the church, whose entrance is 20 feet from the club, have also accused Thirst of failing to advertise the plans properly, meaning they had no chance to raise their concerns during the council's period of consultation.

Rector Vaughan Roberts said that the lap-dancing would be unacceptable not only next to our building but anywhere in our city.

Church goers predictably echoed the rector's disgust at the plans. A Hertford student attending St Ebbe's said: it's horrible. I find it really weird. It's just a massive juxtaposition to walk out of the lap-dancing club and then see the church.

Rachel Cummings, the OUSU Women's Officer, expressed her condemnation of the application. She said, lap-dancing is abhorrent; it's an activity which presents women as sexual items existing for the entertainment of men. Any club holding a lap-dancing license needs to recognise that this activity is degrading. Many customers will no longer feel comfortable attending the club on any of its nights.

This view has been echoed by Christian groups. Claire Greig, vice president of the Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian Union said, we are saddened by the fact that the Thirst Lodge is hosting these nights which involve practices degrading to women, and we hope that the license will not be granted.

After sparking moral outrage among the local nutters, the venue decided to withdraw the application on the morning of the 27th of January. Its spokesperson said: we've withdrawn the application after consultation with the public and our neighbours from the church.

The decision about the cancellation of the licensing hearing was confirmed by the Oxford City Council.

 

19th November
2009
  

Update: Thirst For Nonsense...


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Oxford Lap dancing plans resurrected

Thirst Lodge Nutters of a church in Oxford city centre have been 'stunned' by a new application for a lapdancing venue 20 yards from their front door.

In January, Greene King applied for a licence to run lapdancing and pole dancing sessions at Thirst Lodge, off St Ebbe's Street.

But the brewery withdrew its application after staff at St Ebbe's Church complained they did not want a lapdancing bar as a neighbour.

Greene King said at the time that the application had been withdrawn after listening to the concerns of their neighbours.

But now the brewery has submitted a similar application to Oxford City Council – and this time the bar in Pennyfarthing Place also wants to show films.

St Ebbe's vicar, the Rev Vaughan Roberts, said: Lapdancing is degrading for all those involved.

We would be concerned about a lapdancing club opening anywhere in Oxford, but all the more when it's on such a public thoroughfare and when it's next door to a building that is used every day of the week by children and young people. Would they allow a lapdancing club to open next door to a primary school?

Church manager Mark Abraham said the latest application came as a shock, adding: Once again, Greene King did not tell us of their intentions, leaving us with very little time to object. To have a pub right on our doorstep promoting lap- dancing would only serve to harm the Gospel at St Ebbe's and Oxford at large.

Abraham said: Lapdancing exploits women and that's contrary to one of the key messages our church is trying to put out. A lapdancing bar would really change the nature of the area and we think it could put people off coming to our church.

The public consultation period ended on Thursday.

Louisa Dean, a spokesman for the city council, confirmed the council had received the application, which is expected to be considered by the licensing committee at a date to be fixed.

 

13th December
2009
  

Update: Tea Dancing and Lap Dancing...


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Inappropriate interference into the lives of Oxford people who don't want church nonsense

Thirst LodgeOxford City Council granted a licence for lap dancing and pole dancing sessions to be run at the Thirst Lodge in the city, outside St Ebbe's Church.

The Revd Vaughan Roberts said the venue was inappropriate because of its proximity to the church, some 50 yards away. He said: We wouldn't be keen on such a premises anywhere, because we think it degrades God's gift of sex and degrades women, making them objects to be ogled at.

We feel quite strongly that if you are going to have such an establishment, however, the place the chain has chosen to put it is quite inappropriate. To get such a licence these days, you need to do no more than if you wanted to hold a tea dance for pensioners.

Lap dancing and pole dancing sessions will be run at the venue, run by Greene King, in Pennyfarthing Place, off St Ebbe's Street.

The church had officially objected to the licence being granted before the council's licensing committee made its decision last night.

Roberts said a further concern was the site of the pub, which he described as one of the gateways into the university city. He added: The first thing you will see when you come into Oxford on the left will be the church, and on the right will be this sex establishment. It's not what you want to see when you enter the city.

The church is still deciding whether or not to appeal the council's decision.

 

6th February
2010
  

Update: Ebbing Tolerance...

Oxford church intimidates and harasses lap dancing neighbour

St Ebbe's OxfordNutters of an Oxford church have resurrected protests against an Oxford bar's plans to run lap-dancing sessions.

In January last year, Greene King applied for a licence to run lap dancing and pole dancing at Thirst Lodge, off St Ebbe's Street, but withdrew its application after staff at St Ebbe's Church complained.

But in December, the company renewed its application and the city council granted permission.

Now the church has appealed, and magistrates will be asked to reconsider the proposal.

On Saturday, church members gave out flyers outside the bar, in Pennyfarthing Place, and asked shoppers to sign a petition.

The Rev Vaughan Roberts, Rector of St Ebbe's Church, said: We are concerned because we understand women can feel intimidated and experience harassment from men who are leaving lap-dancing clubs.

Nutters of the Oxford University Students Union have also had a whinge about Thirst Lodge. See also article from cherwell.org

 

1st March
2010
  

Update: A Thirst for Intolerance...

Oxford nutters unite to protest about lap dancing club

Thirst Club An estimated two hundred people gathered in Bonn Square to protest against lap dancing at Thirst Lodge.

Members of St. Ebbe's Church, local residents, students and leaders of the local Muslim community came together to protest against the establishment of Thirst Lodge as a sex encounter venue.

Kat Wall, OUSU's Women's Officer, told Cherwell, We've come together with various different groups from across the community to say that we don't want lap dancing to take place here. The main reason for this protest is, basically, we're very concerned about the harms that will be put on many members of the community.

Oxford City Council leader, Bob Price, urged the public to sign a petition against the Lodge's plans to host lap dancing. He said, We're very opposed to this application because it runs entirely counter to our image of what the city centre should be about, and as many speakers this afternoon have said, it would certainly raise the possibility of more crime and violence and attacks on women in this area.

An online petition campaigning against lap dancing at Thirst Lodge on the grounds of the prevention of crime and disorder and the prevention of public nuisance has over 1000 signatures.

 

2nd March
2010
  

Update: A Different Forum...

Oxford local paper finds that readers are supportive of lap dancing club

oxford mail logo Plans to run lap-dancing nights at an Oxford bar have received backing from readers on the Oxford Mail's website oxfordmail.co.uk.

Members of St Ebbe's Church are leading the fight against the application by neighbours Thirst Lodge. However, most commentators on our website believe the bar should be allowed to have lapdancers.

Pierre My said: Reading the story there are all the usual ridiculous unsubstantiated reasons why they don't want it. I was just waiting for somebody to scream 'Think of the children'.

Nightshift said: Next to St Ebbe's Church is a supermarket. Ironically, the beers, wines and spirits section is the closest to the church building. It sells alcohol at vastly reduced prices and greater volume than The Lodge. Of the two businesses closest to the church, which is the most likely to increase cases of domestic violence, violence against women, unwanted pregnancy, parents buying alcohol for children and admissions to A&E departments? In fact how many strip club-related admissions are there to A&E departments in Oxford?

LadyPenelope agreed: I don't see the problem with a lapdancing club. No one is forcing those girls to dance. It's just people trying to make a living paid by people who are somewhat sad enough to cough up cash for that sort of thing.

Only one reader posted a comment opposing the lap dancing.

Any One said: I'm sure you know, if you think about it, that how some young women end up in jobs such as lapdancing does indeed involve covert force. There are usually many factors that are not always immediately obvious, like men controlling these young women.

 

24th March
2010
  

Update: Thirst Starts Quenching...

Lap dancing club starts business pending nutter appeal

Thirst Club Lapdancing sessions have started at a city centre bar in Oxford – despite continued protests from  neighbouring church nutters.

Al Thompson, the manager of Thirst Lodge, said lapdancing was being staged at the club, in Pennyfarthing Place, off St Ebbe's, from Monday to Saturday, between 9pm and 3am.

There are no sessions on Sunday, and Mr Thompson said this was a deliberate concession to the neighbouring St Ebbe's Church, which has led protests against the club's application to stage lapdancing events.

The city council's licensing committee approved the application in December, but the church has appealed against the decision and an initial hearing is expected to take place before Oxford magistrates next month.

Thompson said: We're now running the venue as a gentleman's club called The Lodge, that has poledancing and lapdancing. About 20 to 25 per cent of our clientele are women. There's pole dancing on the ground floor and private dancers in the basement, which cost £20 each.

 

5th July
2010
  

Update: Love Your Neighbour...

Unless he wants to go lap dancing in Oxford

St Ebbe's churchOxford nutters have lost their appeal at Oxford Magistrates to overturn the variation of a licence to run a lap dancing club 50 yards from their church.

The Rev Vaughan Roberts, Rector of St Ebbe's Church, lodged an appeal after Oxford Council's Licensing Committee granted the variation last December to Greene King to run Thirst Lodge.

Roberts said: We still feel that granting a variation of the licence to permit lap dancing at this sort of establishment was totally inappropriate because of its proximity to the church and because these types of clubs can make women feel vulnerable—there are hundreds of young female students who live nearby and women who park their cars in the nearby Westgate Car Park. We wouldn't be keen to see such a club anywhere because lap-dancing degrades God's gift of sex.

A petition signed by 800 people and several hundred letters were received by the Court prior to the hearing. Roberts told the Court a further concern was the site of the club, which he described as adjacent to one of the gateways into the university city .

He added: We are obviously disappointed about the decision because it doesn't fit with the council's intention to regenerate this area of the city and doesn't take into account that women should be able to feel as safe as possible when they are out at night.

The church was supported in its action by the Christian Legal Centre. Its founder and director, Andrea Minichiello Williams, said the licence granted would have to be reviewed after one year because Oxford City Council had adopted a new regime which changes the way that lap dancing clubs are licensed.

The Christian Legal Centre is urging supporters to ask their councils to adopt the new regime that gives more powers to local authorities to protect the culture of their town centres. It is important to oppose these clubs not just on a legal basis but on a moral basis, she said: It is vital that local churches stand up for Christian values in the public square and we are grateful to St Ebbe's Church for taking this lead.

 

13th January
2011
  

Update: Spoilsports...

Church nutters oppose lap dancing club already found to not be a nuisance

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 March
2011
  

Update: Miserable Moralists get their Way...

Oxford revokes lap dancing licence from bar near church

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.

 

18th March
2011
  

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

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.

 

17th June
2011
  

Update: Appropriate Location...

Oxford lap dancing club set to re-locate from The Lodge to Coven

Vicar, can you help us fight lap dancing
at the Coven. Love your neighbour and all that.

rowan atkinson vicar 

  Not my neighbour!

The management of lap-dancing club The Lodge announced last week that they are intending to move their business to West Oxford nightclub Coven.

The Lodge was unsuccessful in renewing its sexual entertainment licence on its current premises on St Ebbes Street, after a campaign by the neigbouring St. Ebbe's Church to have the establishment relocated.

Vaughan Roberts, the Rector of St. Ebbes, said: Our passion at St Ebbe's Church is to share the good news of God's love for all people through Jesus Christ, and to serve our city in any way we can. We [were] reluctant to object to the application...not least because it could make us look like spoilsports ...HOWEVER... we decided that we must.

Oxford City Council has confirmed that an application has been made by The Lodge to acquire a sexual entertainment licence for Coven, and said that although the application is still going through the consultation stage. If no objections are raised the application will be granted.

Vaughan Robertssaid: We believe that lap dancing clubs demean women, undermine marriage and depersonalise God's good gift of sex but declined to say if the church would object to the new location.

 

25th July
2011
  

Update: Nonsense Case...

Oxford church considers high court appeal against lap dancing licence on grounds that it undermines his god's good gift of marriage
coven oxford logo Oxford's only lap dancing club has found a new home in the city even if the church claims that it undermines God's gift of marriage .

The Lodge has been granted a sexual entertainment licence at The Coven, in Oxpens Road, by a committee of city councillors. The Coven currently operates as a nightclub.

But the Rev Vaughan Roberts, of St Ebbe's Church, said: he was disappointed and surprised by the decision: We continue to believe that this kind of club is not good anywhere in our city because it undermines God's good gift of marriage and degrades women, he said.

Jon Payne, the barrister representing the church, said the church was considering its next move that could include launching a challenge in the High Court.

 

26th October
2011
  

Update: Moral Stands...

Oxford Council discusses whether to restrict the number of lap dancing clubs

oxford city council logo Oxford City Council has been discussing its new powers over sex shops and lap dancing clubs.

At a council meeting last week councillors debated whether to start a consultation process aiming for a final decision in April 2012. The committee considered whether or not to set a limit on the 'appropriate' number of sex establishments.

The council last year used its powers to end lap dancing at Thirst Lodge supposedly because it was deemed too close to shops, churches and tourist attractions. Of course this excuse is just to hide morality justifications as council policy requires: The council is not permitted to take a moral stand with regard to licensing sex establishments .

The lap dancing club, however, reopened at the former Coven nightclub on Oxpens Road.

Labour council leader Bob Price backed a cap and ludicrously spouted to the Oxford Mail:

If you took it to the limit, you would have a city centre that looked a bit like the Reeperbahn in Hamburg and Soho.

It would not be the kind of Oxford that would be particularly attractive to tourists, maybe not all tourists, but not the right type.

At present, the council has not specified what number of establishments it has in mind to cap.

Update: Retro-sexist, exploitative practice

26th October 2011. See  article from  cherwell.org

Meanwhile The Lodge, Oxford's only adult entertainment venue, is opening on the 17th November after relocating and receiving a licence to operate outside the town centre.

The Oxford Feminists Network however, remain unhappy about the club, spokesperson Andie Berryman somewhat snobbily telling Cherwell:

I am whole-heartedly against the opening of a lap dancing club in Oxford, I don't believe a city like ours which is cosmopolitan, progressive and indeed full of the finest minds in the world should permit such a retro-sexist, exploitative practice.

It doesn't matter whether the club is in the city centre or on Oxpens road, if it exists it's a major problem. Oxford Feminist Network will continue to protest and challenge this licence.

 

5th November
2011
  

Update: Case by Case Merit...

Oxford Council abandons idea to cap the number of sex shops and lap dancing clubs

oxford city council logoPlans to put a cap on the number of sex shops and lapdancing clubs in the city were thrown out by councillors. Instead they have decided each application should be judged on case-by-case merit.

At a meeting of the general purposes licensing committee, it was agreed that the capping proposals would be fraught with difficulty.

Julian Alison, licensing team leader, said the approved draft sex establishment licensing policy will now go out to public consultation.

The draft policy will go out to public consultation from November 14, to December 31 and responses will be considered by the committee when it meets again on February 22, 2012.

 

 Updated: Oxford Council Destroys the Jobs of 50 Lap Dancers...Because...

A local lady said she heard some rude comments


Link Here 25th October 2012  full story: Lap Dancing in Oxford...Thirst for nutter 'outrage'

lodge oxford logoOxford's only lapdancing club has been stripped of its licence after Oxford City Council decided to 'give weight' to a local woman who complained of rude comments and a 'hostile environment..

Oxford City Council revealed the licence had not been renewed with immediate effect. The application for a licence renewal was refused after a meeting of the city's licensing and registration sub committee.

Committee chairman Van Coulter said:

There are very select grounds on which you can make a refusal, but one of which is if there has been a change in the vicinity.

We heard that the existence of the club has given rise to problems in the area. There was one lady, for example, who gave testimony about comments made to her, which I am too much of a gentleman to repeat. We have evidence that the existence of the club has created a hostile atmosphere, and we decided to give weight to that.

The renewal application received 23 letters of support, mostly from staff and the owners, and 20 objections.

club owner Al Thompson, who said 50 girls worked from the club, vowed to fight the decision all the way, claiming it was based on hearsay. He said:

They granted us a licence a year ago, and now they've suddenly decided to change their minds, leaving a lot of people out of a job and wrecking a perfectly viable business.

The police had no one at the meeting because they didn't have any issue with it. The council has based it all on hearsay.

We've got a QC and our legal team working out the best way for us to come back at this, but we will take it as far as it needs to go, and that includes the High Court.

Update: Taking Oxford's Moral Censors to Court

16th October 2012. See  article from  bbc.co.uk

Alistair Thompson, who owns the club, said that the decision would leave its 23 staff without work and meant the self-employed dancers would also have to find alternative clubs. He added:

We went out of our way to find an alternative venue when we moved from Pennyfarthing Place.

The council compiled an extensive report and agreed to the new location and now a different group of councillors have turned around a year later and refused the licence.

Floors2Go next door has changed into an MOT centre but other than that absolutely nothing has changed in that area.

We've invested something like £ 200,000 in turning it from a nightclub into a strip club but unlike other businesses we have no recourse to appeal, we can't go to the magistrates court so I've been forced to seek a judicial review.

Thompson said he served papers to the council and is awaiting its response.

Update: High Court Stays the Ban

25th October  2012. See  article from  oxfordmail.co.uk

Old BaileyThe Lodge Gentlemen's Club will re-open tonight after a stay of execution was granted by a High Court judge.

Owner Al Thompson applied to the High Court for permission to take the decision to Judicial Review, and the court agreed to hear his case.

Council spokesman Christopher Lee spouted:

We have been notified that the High Court, on the application of the owners of The Lodge, has granted a stay of the city council licensing committee's decision not to renew the sexual entertainment venue licence. This will allow it to carry on providing sexual entertainment until their judicial challenge to the decision not to renew their licence is resolved. We are told that this process may take several months.

He added rather unconvincingly that the committee's decision not to renew the licence was taken in good faith on the balance of evidence presented to it .

 

 Update: Dislodged...

High Court judge supports the moralists of Oxford Council who refused to renew table dancing licence


Link Here 3rd July 2013  full story: Lap Dancing in Oxford...Thirst for nutter 'outrage'

Old BaileyOxford'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.

 

 Update: Clear Injustice...

Lawyers comment on Oxford Council closing down a table dancing business even though the licensee did not break any rules


Link Here 14th July 2013  full story: Lap Dancing in Oxford...Thirst for nutter 'outrage'

Old BaileyOxford 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.

 

 Update: The Legal Dance Resumes...

Oxford table dancing club granted leave to appeal against the council ban


Link Here 8th August 2013  full story: Lap Dancing in Oxford...Thirst for nutter 'outrage'

Old BaileyOxford 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.

The club has now re-opened pending the appeal.

 

 Update: A Long Way from the Truth...

ASA dismisses inaccurate complaint about a table dancing club


Link Here 14th August 2013  full story: Lap Dancing in Oxford...Thirst for nutter 'outrage'

the lodge gentlemans club logoA poster for The Lodge Gentlemen's Club in Oxford showed an image of a woman wearing a bra lying on her back, looking towards the camera. With her right hand she was playing with her hair; the left side of her body was obscured by shadow.

A complainant, who stated that the poster had been placed within 100 m of a nursery and directly opposite a youth hostel, challenged whether the ad:

  1. was offensive, sexist and degrading to women; and

  2. was irresponsible, because it appeared where it could be seen by children.

1. & 2. Starwhite Ltd, t/a The Lodge Gentleman's Club stated that they did not wish to offend anyone, but felt that the image was not of an offensive nature and that the text was innocuous. They said the poster was located almost opposite a youth hostel, but not within 100 m of a nursery. They also said that before the poster had been put up, the ad had been submitted to the CAP Copy Advice team, who had advised that it was suitable.

ASA Assessment: Complaint not upheld

1. Not upheld

The ASA acknowledged that advertising for gentlemen's clubs would often contain images of women, many of which were likely to be seen as at least mildly sexual because of the nature of the service promoted. However, the fact that a product was offensive to some people was not grounds for finding a marketing communication in breach of the Code. It was therefore necessary to consider the overall impression given by the ad.

We noted that the image showed a woman lying on her back, looking towards the camera. The complainant had described this as a sexually submissive position. Much of the woman's body was shrouded in darkness, but she was shown alone and did not look distressed or coerced in any way, and given that she was wearing a bra and most of the lower part of her body was not visible we considered that the image was only mildly sexual in nature. Whilst acknowledging that the ad would be distasteful to some, we did not consider that it would be generally seen as objectifying or being sexist or degrading to women, and concluded that it was therefore unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

On that point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 4.1 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.

2. Not upheld

We noted that the CAP Copy Advice team had viewed the ad before it appeared, and had advised that it should not be placed within 100 m of a school or places that children frequented. We considered that, given the sexually suggestive nature of the ad, that restriction was appropriate and would reduce the risk of its being seen by children. The complainant had believed that the poster was located within that distance of a nursery. However, we understood that the poster was in fact around 350m away from the nursery school. We also understood that the youth hostel referred to by the complainant was generally used by those aged 16--18 years, who were not classed as children under the Code. Because the ad had been placed away from schools or businesses that provided children based services, we concluded that it was not irresponsible.

On that point, we investigated the ad under CAP Code rule 1.3 (Responsible advertising), but did not find it in breach.

 

 Update: Demolition Plans Lodged...

Oxford set to turn disputed table dancing club into a temporary car park


Link Here 5th October 2013  full story: Lap Dancing in Oxford...Thirst for nutter 'outrage'
car park Oxford's only table dancing club could be demolished to make room for a temporary car park while Oxford's Westgate shopping centre is redeveloped.

Oxford City Council has unveiled plans to create up to 359 new spaces on the land that it owns. The Lodge Gentleman's Club will have to go.

Club owner Al Thompson said he had been aware of the plans for some time. He said:

We always knew our premises was on a short lease and that it would eventually be redeveloped, so we have no real problem with that. We will have to wait and see if it actually comes to fruition and if it does we will look at relocating.

We are absolutely keen on staying in Oxford. We've moved once, and we'll move again.

The revelation comes in the middle of a stalemate between The Lodge and the city council, which rejected an application to renew the venue's licence last August. Thompson has won permission from the Court of Appeal to take it to court again, and The Lodge remains open for now.

 

 Update: Moralists Win...

The Lodge in Oxford loses appeal against a council decision to close the table dancing club


Link Here 12th February 2014  full story: Lap Dancing in Oxford...Thirst for nutter 'outrage'
Old Bailey A table dancing club has lost its appeal against Oxford City Council's decision to refuse its licence and must now close.

Al Thompson, the owner of The Lodge launched a court challenge to the council's moralistic decision to ban the club. Last year, he took his fight to the High Court which found in favour of the council. Yesterday, his appeal against that ruling was also dismissed at the Appeal Court.

Dismissing the appeal, Lord Justice Lloyd Jones said:

On a fair reading of the 2012 decision, it is clear that the committee concluded on the evidence relating to the club's operation over the previous year, that the limitation of opening times and absence of external indications as to the nature of the activities taking place had not been sufficient to protect the character of the area.

 

 Update: Cover Up...

Having being banned by Oxford moralists, the Lodge has switched to burlesque


Link Here 16th April 2014  full story: Lap Dancing in Oxford...Thirst for nutter 'outrage'
the lodge oxford The owner of a former lap-dancing club in Oxford has said it plans to stay open as a burlesque bar until December.

Last year, Al Thompson, who runs The Lodge took his fight against the council's moralistic decision to ban the club to the High Court, but lost. He said:

We are hoping to be there until Christmas and then we will be gone. We are always looking for other sites but we won't reapply for the sex entertainment licence unless there is a site where we can keep everyone happy, but I can't see us finding that, to be honest.

City council spokesman Chris Lee said:

The Lodge has restyled itself as a burlesque club, thus not requiring a sexual entertainment venue licence. However, it should be noted that lap-dancing is legally permitted less frequently than once per month without the need for a sexual entertainment venue licence.

Thompson has applied for a new premises licence for the venue to open from noon until 5am Monday-Saturday and noon until 2am on Sundays. Currently it is open Monday-Thursday noon to 2.30am, Friday noon to 3.30am, Saturday noon to 2.30pm and Sunday noon to 2pm.

 


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