Melon Farmers Original Version

Sex shops in Carlisle

Carlisle sex shop council fee is a licence to cripple


End of Summer...

Ann Summers is set to close in Carlisle

Link Here21st February 2019
Lingerie retailer Ann Summers is closing its Carlisle store. Notices have been posted saying the shop will close its doors on 31st March 2019.

In the meantime there will be a closing down sale offering prices cuts of up to 75%.


19th October

Update: Taking Less Toll...

Sex shop licence fee reduced in Carlisle

Carlisle's only licensed sex shop has had its annual licence fee slashed by the city council.

In future, the Private Shop in London Road will have to pay £5,639 for a sex establishment licence.

It argued that the previous figure of £13,278 could put it out of business. Carlisle City Council's licensing panel agreed.

Chairman David Morton said he was persuaded to cut the fee and councillor Michael Boaden said: I would find it more difficult to stomach a situation where we had no licensed premises and the vacuum was filled by unlicensed and dangerous activity.

Licensing officer Jim Messenger told councillors the fee should be reasonable . If we decide to leave it as it is, we could face a judicial review. From legal advice I've taken, it would be difficult to justify.

The fee was set at £1,000 in 1989, raised to £7,000 in 1990 and then in line with inflation each year since. Messenger said the big increase in 1990 was to ensure that revenue covered the costs of prosecuting unlicensed sex establishments. In practice, these costs had been less than expected.

Messenger added that the Private Shop was well run and had caused the council hardly any problems. He also said councillors could not, by law, take moral considerations into account when setting the licence fee.

Any new sex shops in Carlisle will have to pay £6,639 in the first year. The annual renewal fee will be £5,639 and there will be a £1,000 one-off fee if the licence for existing premises is transferred to a new owner.


15th October

Taking Toll on Business...

High sex shop licences discriminate against UK traders

Carlisle's only licensed sex shop wants the city council to reduce its licence fee.

The Private Shop in London Road has to pay £13,278 every year for a sex establishment licence.

It says that is too much, especially as competition from websites selling sex toys and DVDs is putting high-street sex shops out of business.

Carlisle City Council's regulatory panel, which meets on Wednesday, is likely to halve the fee to £6,639.

A survey of 44 other councils showed huge variations. The lowest licence fee was £625 and the highest £20,360. But the averages of £6,197 for a new licence and £4,971 for renewals were well below the rate in Carlisle.

Mike McCann, chairman of the Adult Industry Trade Association, has written in support of the Private Shop: Over the last three years the world wide web has totally changed the way that consumers purchase adult products and has had a dramatic declining effect on all our licensed sex shops. Market conditions have changed considerably and high licence fees cannot be sustained without having an adverse effect on the whole of the UK adult industry. There is a serious danger that these small but important and legitimate businesses could reduce dramatically [in number].

He adds that the number of licensed sex establishments in the UK peaked at just over 400 in 2005-6 but has since fallen to between 340 and 350.


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