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2011 Jan-March

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18th February   

Arbitrary Moralists...

Leicester council committee recommends to close 2 lap dancing venues
Link Here
Full story: Lap Dancing in East Midlands...Arbitrary moralist limits

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

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

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

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

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

The cabinet will make its final decision on March 3.

Update: Draconian


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

Pierce said the decision was heavy-handed and unnecessary.

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

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


2nd February

 Offsite: Burlesque in Soho...

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

See article from


31st January   

Erotic Adaptions...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


30th January   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


30th January   

Diary: Porn Again...

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

Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is to make a radio documentary about the pornography industry for the BBC.

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

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

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

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


27th January   

Update: Hackney Stripped of Democracy...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


18th January   

Wild? We're Livid...

Daily Mail hype Girls Gone Wild events
Link Here

The Daily Mail writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


16th January   

Updated: Democracy Challenged Hackney Council...

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

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

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

The results were:

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

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

Pressing ahead anyway?

See  article from

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

The council qualifies its stance by stating that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update: Woeful disregard for resident's views

16th January 2011. See  article from

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

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

...Read the full article


13th January   

Update: Spoilsports...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


4th January   

Miserable Bristol...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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