Well this is a round up of all the stuff flying round with licenses and the moralists trying to close clubs. There is quite a bit to cover as so much is going on and it is hard to keep track of all the battles being fought.
Okay firstly I want to pick up on TENs or Temporary Event Notifications as they are formally known. These are used any clubs and pubs to put on things that are outside their current license and has included dancing. Now it has come to the attention of a politician and she wants to stop TENs being used to provide adult events. Venues can use 11 TENs over the course of a year and there are rules governing them. So of course venues testing the waters to see if dancing would work for them is now out. However I wonder if the politician has realised that TENs is how male strip troupes perform at different clubs. Will places that have male dancers need to get SEVs? I can see a lot of angry Hen Parties if the male dancer events are harder to find. And there is also a chance this will impact on the LGBT clubs if they have performances with nakedness in. The implications of taken TENs away from clubs to try striptease or have fairly regular events is interesting to say the least.
So with the TENs issue in mind I want to jump over to Chester where the Platinum Lounge lost its License. Not for crime or infringements of the license but because of the claim the area had become more residential. The club which has been going since 2005 has had no issues with the police and reading articles about the refusal the dancers enjoyed working there. Now I am not a resident but investigating the area seems to have a lot of businesses for a residential area. So this is where the council uses excuses to close a venue because they don't like it. This based on a grand total of 8 objections and a representation from local business lead by Debbie Lomas. Said Debbie Lomas has made sweeping statements even though she has never been inside the club and she was challenged back in 2011 by a dancer to come to the club and talk face to face which of course she hasn't done. The management haven't decided yet on if they will ask for a judicial review but under the circumstances such tiny opposition should not be allowed to dictate as it sets an awful precedent for those councillors who want to be our moral guardians. Management has talked about using TENs to get events all over Chester but if the law changes this could be a very short term plan. So management of Platinum Lounge I would suggest you challenge this, if you do you will be able to continue to trade (Oxford has done this and are awaiting their court case). BEST OF LUCK
So speaking of moral guardians Leeds has popped back up on the Radar, you may remember that we reported that planning permission had been granted to Black Diamond to expand from 2 to 4 floors. Well the licensing committee has overturned that decision as they have not granted a change to the license citing the policy to reduce the Leeds to 4 clubs. The venue is currently closed and the management has not made a decision on if they should re-open under the current terms. We have suggested this is one that the council will target but this is not the stopping of dancing just the expansion. However it is a suggestion the club maybe a target for the council.
And back to Hounslow who was looking to adopt a Nil Policy, well they have as they had 20 letters of support for the Nil Policy and 9 Against. Nice to see the enthusiasm in the borough peaked which such a massive turnout.... Interesting to note the council does state that the council will listen to applicants on merit although it will have to demonstrate why the council should depart from its policy. And - guess what? - the initial license fee is non -refundable people can read into this what they may as money earning potential one way or another.
Okay some amusement in the middle as Bristol renews the license of Central Chambers after only 9 Objections (where is everyone who attacked the clubs last year?). Best bit though was the attack from a campaigner (7 of 9 maybe?) used some interesting language to describe the head of the licensing committee a “sexist, misogynistic fuckface“, much respect to Bristol_Jane for such an intellectual and well thought out argument.
Next we are off to Tower Hamlets (again). I spent a pleasant evening watching live tweets from Ted Jeory from the council meeting where the Licensing Policy was to be confirmed and although we didn't get tweets that far into the evening it was a debacle. Councillors had signed up to not use language that would insult the physically and mentally disabled so of course that one went by the wayside pretty quick. One councillor was called Susan Boyle, a member of the public tried to ask a question in Bengali and was told no and that a translator would be provided next meeting at council expense but then his friend offered to translate and got involved. They have agreed that livestreams of the council meetings will be available in the future and as a fan of comedy I will be watching.
So to the Nil Policy which as we remember had two consultations. Now the report about the 2011 consultation has just over 4000 responses with 121 duplicates and some discounted because they were not sure they were in the borough. I would love to see what they decided was acceptable or not as their online submission did NOT have mandatory fields which might explain why some people did not put in locations. However the original claim was for over 6000 response so somehow around 2000 responses have disappeared. Not one to accuse people but..... Anyway second consultation was 2.2% for a nil policy and 97.8% against a nil policy so obviously the council decides the public doesn't know what is good for it and makes its own decision. All I will say is the first effort to close a club and this will be bounced in front of the court and the council will have a hell of a lot of explaining to do.
And Twitter has been an amazing tool, yesterday I sat and watch the debate between "feminists" and feminist sex workers who were denied access to the Nottingham Women's Conference. Now I know some people will point out that this blog is about striptease and lap dancing but there are key points here. Firstly that the sex workers have representation on the GMB the same as the dancers so things that affect them should interest us at least. And secondly and more importantly #NWC2013 was to discuss sex work and things like the scandinavian model, which would be fine but the organisers refused to let current sex workers into the conference including the SW Open University. Now to speak about a group of women at a feminist meeting and yet deny them a voice is tactics you will see again and again as the whole premise that feminist book writers and speakers rely on is victimhood. To allow these women to speak and show that they have got a GCSE or two (the comments yesterday included uneducated) and are free thinkers exercising choice would knock their house of cards over. Women like Dr Julia Long whose book drive we covered earlier in the year and here again allowed to speak and promote herself and her book.
So busy that the things I have wanted to work on, being 2012 crime figures and SEVs as a community safety valve, have been put on the back burner. But they will resurface when time and health allow.