Well just been looking at the agenda for the Licensing Committee for the 11th September and reading the PDFs. Makes interesting reading and really seems like a mess waiting to happen (again).
First up is the pdf dealing with all the on line responses, well actually that does not look right. Speaking to groups who previously supported the clubs they had people who filled in the form online and yet item 8.1d barely has any responses and those are not what I have been expecting. Now I would not claim fiddle but I would like to see the verified details of every online submission.
Moving on to the actual policy the council is not adopting the 2003 policy for SEVs but is for everything else. Now not sure how that plays or what the impact on the clubs is given the fact that the council obviously did not get a mandate to change the framework to the 2003 policy on SEVs.
Moving on to the draft policy which has Sexual Entertainment as Section 18 on page 26. The council is trying to develop a separate policy based on amendments to the 1982 Act schedule 3. However in the meantime the council are going to use "discretion" around venues taking into account schools, places of worship etc (18.4). This could be a run in to trying to close the venues but we will have to wait and see on the renewals. If the Swan gets its license and they try to close the others it could prove "interesting!"
The actual policy however establishes a nil policy for new venues and allows venues to continue subject to the license fees and regulatory controls. It should be noted that the reason the existing clubs are going to be allowed to trade is that the council has noted article 1 of the First Protocol of Human Rights.
The statements in the agenda seem contradictory and the policy seems to be a disaster waiting to happen. A nil policy that leaves all the current venues alone so Hackney again but I doubt that this is the end, sooner or later Rahman will try and force a venue closed in my humble opinion.
Finally noted at the end of the agenda as already resolved the council will consult on if it should adopt the policy based around the 1982 Act schedule 3. So lets go round again looks like after so long we are back at the start. All aboard the Tower Hamlets roundabout. So nil policy but another consultation and power in place to close venues. Doesn't seem like anyone is better off.