A much harassed strip club which closed in March due to coronavirus restrictions has decided not to apply to renew its licence.
Spearmint Rhino, which has been on Brown Street in Sheffield for 18 years, has surrendered its sexual entertainment venue
licence and handed over its alcohol licence to another operator.
The club recently won a high-profile battle to renew the licence for a six-month period last September after a campaign by women's equality campaigners. But Sheffield City Council
said the club has now withdrawn its latest application.
In the summer, the club dropped a privacy case against feminist campaigners who commissioned non consensual and secret filming of dancers at work.
Some strip club dancers, who have not
worked since March, have said the industry has been hit hard by coronavirus pandemic restrictions. So presumably much of this latest decision was down to economic reality rather than more political issues.
A licence has been granted for a new lap dancing club in Barnsley Town Centre. The venue will be the Theatre Royal on Wellington Street.
There are management connections with Wildcats club on the same street which will be closing.
states that the new club, which will be called Gentleman Jacks, will feature: fully nude zero contact lap dancing, also focused around craft beer and cocktails. The applicant said:
I would like to convert the former
theatre to its former glory, for the public to once again be able to enjoy.
The plans are to convert the historic theatre into two venues, with gentleman's club Gentleman Jack's on the second floor. The ground floor will be converted
into a separate nightclub-cum-bar called Cheeky Tiki.
La Salsa lap dancing club, in Silver Street, Halifax, has been refused a sexual entertainment venue licence by Calderdale Council's Licensing and Regulatory Committee who voted to reject the club's application.
Councillors were told they are not
allowed to reject a licence on moral grounds so the application was refused on grounds the applicant was unsuitable to hold a licence and that a sex entertainment premises at Silver Street would be inappropriate having regard to the character of
the relevant locality. They were additionally told the Ebenezer Church on St James Road is also opposite the club.
Councillors heard the club was opposite a women's refuge and objectors to the renewal included the White Ribbon Campaign. But
councillors were told West Yorkshire Police and ward councillors had not lodged any objections to the Halifax club's licence being renewed.
Applicant Reza Shahsavar noted that in 16 years La Salsa in Halifax had not had a single issue of concern
for the authorities in Calderdale.
The council's claim of being unsuitable to hold a licence referred to an incident resulting in the licence being lost in 2010. Shahsavar said that the incident had been a misunderstanding and he was being
falsely accused in allegations now being made by objectors.
The club's owners have a right of appeal against the council ban.
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 venues.
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.
Over 25 people spoke at a council licensing hearing to object to the Villa Mercedes strip club application on Suffolk Road in Sheffield.
The application in general received 180 objections and one supporting letter.
But in a dramatic twist, the
applicant, Rockwave Leisure, who was represented by the venue's would be manager Andreas Baskoutas, said through his solicitor he had listened carefully to objections and was withdrawing the application. The news was met with claps and cheers in the
At present York has one licensed sex shop and two sexual entertainment venues requiring a licence t operate as a lap dancing club.
The council has just drafted the Licensing of Sex Establishments Policy after a year of research. A working party
involving councillors, council officers and police visited York's two lap dancing clubs to see how they operate and talk to the managers and the dancers. They also held a public consultation to gauge residents' views on these establishments.
the 325 responses, 39% felt it was not acceptable to have lap dancing clubs anywhere in York, while 55% had no issues with them being located here. The survey found that the city centre ( 53% ) and busy late night economy areas ( 54% ) were
considered the most acceptable locations for the clubs. Residential areas were considered unacceptable locations for 61% of those who responded.
The new policy also includes new rules such as:
There will be at least one female member of staff authorised to be responsible for the safety and welfare of the dancers. This staff member must on the premises at all times when licensable activities are taking place
Throughout the lap or table dance customers will remain seated and fully clothed, with their hands clearly visible, either resting on the arms of the chair/sofa or on the seat cushion, or customers must be asked to sit on their hands.
The new policy will be further discussed at the gambling, licensing and regulatory committee on Tuesday, September 13.
Harrogate's Villa Mercedes has been banned from operating as a strip club by Harrogate Borough Council.
On August 20, Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) refused to renew the club's Sexual Entertainment Venue License (SEV) license for reasons including
physical contact with the dancers and allowing audience participation.
The club's operator Tobasco Leisure Ltd set in motion an appeal but have now just withdrawn that appeal when the court declined a request for an adjournment. The management was
then ordered to pay £3,000 in costs to the council.
The decision means that sexual entertainment will now cease at Villa Mercedes but the club is permitted to continue selling alcohol.
Kirklees Council covering the area around Huddersfield has become the last authority in West Yorkshire to adopt sex entertainment licensing.
Last year the council launched a consultation asking residents and councillors where they thought lap dancing
clubs should be. It found that most people thought there should be none at all.
Councillors unanimously agreed to adopt the powers which will allow councillors to ban some applications and closely control where sexual entertainment venues can open.
And it seems that Kirklees has been quick to impose repressive controls. New rules forbid fully nude dancing and also ban clubs from advertising in their windows using photographs or other images which suggest that striptease takes place.
Cleopatras Lounge on Northumberland Street in Huddersfield will bear the brunt of the new moralist policy from 1st October 2015.
An MP and police moralists have whinged at plans for a new table dancing venue in Middlesborough.
Proposals to turn Slam on Exchange Square near Middlesbrough Railway Station into a lap dancing club have been lodged with Middlesborough Council.
Cleveland Police have objected to the plans citing several assaults at the previous venue and bizarrely claiming that the wrong clientele would be attracted to the venue.
Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald spouted:
To class this as entertainment is ridiculous. I would wish the proprietors for something better to do with their premises. It will not be welcome by an enormous number of people - and I include myself in that. It's not what
Wild West Leisure Ltd has submitted the application to Middlesbrough Council to vary the premises licence which proposes the supply of alcohol from 11am to 4am daily and provision of regulated entertainment from
11am to 4am daily. Alterations also include a new entrance, a new wall to create two rooms, removal of fixed seating and provision of booth seating to create a lap-dancing area.
The application does not include an application for a sexual
entertainment venue licence. No doubt that would follow later.
Cleveland Police have objected to the application on the grounds of the prevention of crime and disorder and public safety. A police statement moralised:
Although the venue has seen an improvement it is the opinion of Cleveland Police that by the venue changing its theme and moving into adult entertainment that the wrong clientele will be attracted to the venue and issues will arise
'Outraged' feminists have been invited to York's lap dancing club Upstairs in response to an online petition which calls for a rejection of the club's licence renewal on 30th November.
York Feminist Network have gathered 120 signatures for the
petition which states:
Lap dancing clubs have no place in our community. They promote sexist stereotypes, create 'no go' areas for women and local residents, and impact negatively on the character and reputation of
York as a welcoming, family-friendly city.
A York councillor, Dave Taylor, has publically stated that A council can only reject or revoke a license if it breeches one of the four 'licensing objectives' and that it is not Council policy
to revoke a license based on morals.
Nutter MP Shahid Malik has launched a petition against the lapdancing venue Forbidden.
The Forbidden nightclub on Bradford Road was granted permission earlier this month to offer lapdancing, pole dancing and private dancing in booths.
Dewsbury MP this week started a petition against the club, claiming it could make Dewsbury a magnet for the sex industry . After having campaigned vigorously to regenerate the town centre the prospect of having a lap dancing club would be a
tragic set back which would damage the image of Dewsbury. We do not want to cultivate an image of a seedy town but rather a family-oriented town. If this is allowed to develop then Dewsbury could become a magnet for the sex industry, which would be a
Forbidden, at the former Green's Nite Scene club in Bradford Road, has yet to start trading as a lapdancing club.
Dewsbury South councillors Salim Patel (Con) and Masood Ahmed (Lab) agreed. Coun Patel said: We want to
create a good image for Dewsbury and lap dancing clubs aren't acceptable.
Coun Ahmed added: If you open the doors to one of these places, it's an invitation to others. I have my own reservations about lapdancing and I don't want Dewsbury
associated with it.