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2011: Jan-March

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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.

 

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.

 

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  hackneycitizen.co.uk

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

The council qualifies its stance by stating that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update: Woeful disregard for resident's views

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

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

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

...Read the full article



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