So first day of the Ashes (important to us cricket fans in the UK) but I wanted to let the latest exercise my mind had spout forth before I get too involved in it.
As we know Oxford has turned into a battleground but thinking about it this should never have happened. I may be wrong (it has happened once before) but I think the council has worked deliberately to close the venue and manufactured the situation. Had my thinking cap on and this is why I sort of have that feeling.
If we remember the Lodge moved to it's new location in 2011 which was because the council had issues with the old location. The owner decided rather than fight a costly legal battle that would hurt local taxpayers he would move. Fast forward to 2013 and look at the decision of the court and suddenly one of the key reasons for agreeing to try and close the Lodge was location and from the court bullet points of the ruling (6) The sixth bullet point in the 2012 Reasons highlighted the 2012 evidence that operation of the lap-dancing club had created “a hostile atmosphere in the locality” and “a heightened fear of the risk of sexual violence”. The 2012 Sub- Committee went on to express the view that, whilst there was no evidence of any actual violent incidents, the heightened fear reported was at least “in part” due to the existence of the lap-dancing club and they were “mindful” of the Council’s duty to take reasonable steps to prevent crime and disorder.
See now this is where the move was a setup, there is no way that point could have stood with a long established venue that had a good track record. Yet a move to an area where the council knew they would be wanting to close the Lodge because of the Oxpens redevelopment. So they would have had the plans started a couple of years ago at least, yet "point" the Lodge to the area.
Now the club would know what the council said but if there was any hint of they said Oxpens being a good place to move to this would be a deliberate set up.
I also find it interesting that there was nothing about the student accommodation mentioned in point (4) in 2011 that changed in 2012... was the accommodation only built in the last year or was the fact deliberately held back for use once the club had moved.
In fact flicking through the reasons given it is amazing how many were not mentioned in 2011 but were in 2012 even though those circumstances didn't change. It would seem that the council had plans long before the club moved to shut them and they obviously felt that an established venue with no history of trouble and minimal complaint from the police would be difficult. Moving to a place without the track record makes it that much easier for the council to bend the truth.
And finally I will bring this up again and again that it seems hearsay is valid now in the british courts so we can look forward to plenty more hearsay being used to close legitimate businesses the council don't like.