Sheffield Cathedral has joined a protest against a proposed lap dancing venue in the city centre.
An objection has been lodged in response to an application to convert The Steelhouse bar and club at the corner of Holly Street and West Street, into premises called Wildcats.
Sheffield Council was informed by representatives of Leeds-based Harjen Ltd that it would not be a private members' club or a traditional nightclub with dance floors and loud music, but a bar with a stage for dancing girls doing a striptease
show. There would also be private booths form individual customers. Access would be on a discriminatory basis restricted to people aged over 21.
The Cathedral's protests comes from The Rev Canon Dr Joanne Grenfell, who is Dean of Women's Ministry. She spouts:
Strip clubs undermine women in society by presenting them, in an unequal way, as objects for sexual gratification, and they do not promote healthy committed relationships for men or women and indeed promote casual encounters.
Presumably her god has magically granted her expertise in local planning and economics. She claims, without offering a scrap of evidence or justification:
Already there are similar venues in Sheffield and it is impossible to se why more should be needed.
Such a place might deter investment in other entertainment venues in West Street, which would be detrimental to both the economy and to the community's overall enjoyment of that area.
The local newspaper printed a few more examples of unsubstantiated nonsense from local residents, while the applicants point out that noise levels would be lower than those generated by a typical nightclub.
Update: Playing brainstorming objections to lap dancing, anything will do, even if totally daft
A nutter group which represents some residents in Sheffield city centre has joined protests against a proposed lap dancing venue. The club - called Wildcats - would be set up in the former Steelhouse bar on the corner of West Street and Carver
Peter Sephton, of the Sheffield City Centre Residents' Action Group, said members had drawn up a list of objections and submitted them to the council.
Women in these clubs are self-employed and pay rent to work. This leads to intense competition between performers to gain the attention of male customers.
These establishments are sexually exploiting women for profit. Is this what we want in Sheffield, which has long stood up for equality of the sexes and people in general and against exploitation of any kind?
It is close to one of Sheffield's major tourist venues -- the City Hall -- and adjacent to a tram stop. This gives the wrong impression to city visitors.
The business also opens its doors in the middle of a very residential area, and over 150 properties are situated within a few feet of the club. West Street is already turning into Wild West Street for alcohol consumption.
Concerns about an Amsterdam-style sex industry developing
Sheffield city councillors have voted not to cap the number of sex venues within the city, rejecting proposals to set the limit at two.
\Sheffield is currently home to two sexual entertainment venues: the Spearmint Rhino lap dancing club, in the city centre; and the La Chambre swingers club in Attercliffe.
Plans to set that number as the limit, preventing any more from opening, were dropped following public consultation on the council's sex establishment policy.
Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh was among those who had supported a ban on further vanues, as she claimed had been adopted by 10 other local authorities across the country whinged:
This is not only disappointing because of the lack of joined-up thinking it demonstrates, but also because of the current climate wherein sexual harassment and the entrenchment of inequality between men and women is so
Liberal Democrat councillors had previously labelled the council prudish and anti-business for proposing to limit the number of sex clubs. A council report had warned limiting employment in lap dancing clubs could lead women to seek work in
less-regulated high-risk erotic dance environments. It also stated the council was not permitted to take a moral stance on strip clubs. Councillor Paszek said:
We have developed a policy that is fit for purpose and allows any sex establishment operating in Sheffield to be properly administered and regulated to maintain the high management standards, the safety and safeguarding of staff, performers,
patrons and members of the public, as well as ensuring these premises are located appropriately and in accordance with the legislation.
The council received 130 responses to the consultation, which it said included a range of opinions.
The council's new policy states that sex clubs, shops and cinemas are not appropriate in certain locations, including near schools, parks and places of worship, or in the city's cultural hub, which incorporates the Millennium Gallery and
An anonymous Sheffield feminist is taking the council to court after they said their should be no limit on the number of sexual entertainment venues in the city.
A woman using the fake name of Irene Gladdison has raised nearly £5,000 in order to launch her legal challenge to over turn the policy.
A draft council report published in December 2016 said there would be a a limit of two strip clubs in Sheffield. Sheffield currently has Spearmint Rhino in the city centre and La Chambre swingers club in Attercliffe. It is a bit confusing as
only Spearmint Rhino can be considered a strip club. So it is a bit confusing as to whether the limit is based on number of licenses or number of strp clibs.
Anyway after further consultation the two-club limit was deleted.
I'm a 54 year old grandmother, with five grandchildren. A lifelong feminist and a proud Sheffielder. I refuse to be cowed by the city council and allow them to 'OK' the sexual objectification of our girls. Because we will never have an end to
the 'President's Club' attitudes when men can buy women as sexual entertainment at strip clubs.
'Gladdison' is backed by campaign group Not Buying It. She is being represented by lawyer Louise Whitfield who claimed:
The law is very clear that if a particular issue is highly relevant for gender equality, a public body must look very carefully at any negative impact on women.
Unfortunately, the council has taken a very narrow approach and only considered extremely limited evidence about the adverse effect these clubs have on women performers. We hope that as before, the council will recognise their errors and agree
to think again. If not, my client has no choice but to pursue her legal challenge.
Feminist campaigners have been granted a judicial review against Sheffield's strip club licensing policy.
The review has been brought by a Sheffield resident referred to as Irene. Activists backing her case launched a CrowdJustice crowdfunding campaign on Thursday to cover the legal costs.
A Judicial Review examines whether official bodies followed correct and legal procedures eg when making licensing decisions.
It seems that moralist campaigners feel that the council should consider wider impact on women and gender equality, rather than just the wellbeing of those specifically affected by the Sheffield club.
The outcome could of course affect clubs and councils nationwide.
In a statement accusing the council of ignoring important evidence, the Time's Up For Strip Clubs Coalition claims:
Sheffield have said they only have to consider the impact on women working in the club, women customers or 'vulnerable people' in the local area. In fact, the council has a legal duty to consider the negative impact on all women when deciding
on a policy like this.
Spearmint Rhino, which has been open for 16 years and is the only strip club in Sheffield, is an interested party in the judicial review and so get a chance to air their views in the case.
Spearmint Rhino, which has been on Brown Street in Sheffield for more than 15 years, has applied for its sexual entertainment venue licence to be renewed.
And now the local university, Sheffield Hallam, has decided to initiate a morality campaign against the venue.
A Sheffield Hallam University spokesperson claimed the club could seriously undermine its multimillion-pound masterplan for the area.
However not all university students follow the intolerance extreme and PC that once has come to expect from academia. A female student who wrote to support the application said removing a safe workplace for women is irresponsible. She said:
Removing a safe workplace for a great many women without consulting with them or whether that is what they want and need is irresponsible at best and at worst will cause direct harm.
However the university said students walk past around the clock and are entitled to feel safe and secure. A spokesperson also claimed it undermines equality and diversity.
Councillors are due to consider the club's application on 19 June.
Update: Women protest in support of Spearmint Rhino
A Sheffield lap dancing club has had its operating licence renewed despite dozens of objections from feminists on morality grounds.
Spearmint Rhino, on Brown Street, has operated for 15 years without trouble and the chair of licensing, councillor David Barker, said there was no evidence of poor practices at the club. Granting the licence, Barker said:
There was a very strong case against sexual entertainment in general from the objectors. However, we could find no strong evidence of poor practices or detrimental impact on the local area arising from the operation of the club.
Offsite article: Trashy Swerfs in Licence Objection Failure
Feminist campaigners in Sheffield have won a legal case claiming that the local council failed to consider the impact on the community when it licensed a strip club, paving the way for activists across the country to challenge similar
In a judicial review in Leeds high court, campaigners argued the council had only considered the impact on women and gender equality at the branch of Spearmint Rhino, and had failed in its legal obligation to consider the impact on the wider
community -- the so-called public sector equality duty.
The council conceded partway through the case that it had not consulted properly, and must now go back to the drawing board.
The new consultation exercise could lead to Spearmint Rhino being forced out of Sheffield. However, the council said the strip club operator's current licence still stands and would not be removed as a result of the court case.
The judge in the case, Mrs Justice Philippa Whipple, criticised the council, saying it was the second time its policy on strip clubs had been successfully challenged in court. This is the second judicial review the council has conceded on the
same issue, and conceded on public sector equality duties grounds on both occasions, she said. That is disappointing. I hope council will take it seriously.
Surely everything will have to be banned if such logic is allowed to stand, after all restaurants and take aways contribute to wider obesity issues, pubs contribute to wider health issues, mobile devices contribute to no end of wider societal
issues and most forms of transport contribute to wider climate issues.