Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tower Hamlets Back on the Road

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.

TonyN (


  1. As an addendum there is now a report from SMSR which cover the consultations which has been added to the documentation. Seems the borough was split down the middle more or less.

    1. Well, well, well - the results of the initial consultation finally come to light, a whole two years after it opened!

      The question-by-question breakdowns of the results, in terms of both demographic spread and pro/anti comments, are very telling indeed: the key claims made by the those in favour of a 'nil' policy were not only unproven at the time of the consultation, but have been thoroughly debunked since; the apparent influence of religion is there for everyone to see too. It emerges that one of the most common remarks made by those opposed to the 'nil' policy was that Tower Hamlets Council displayed bias regarding the issue; indeed, it's fair to say that certain councillors portrayed it as a fait accompli.

      What's more, revelations have been made (mostly via this blog) about Object Now and CAPE Tower Hamlets, which undermine their legitimacy - and it's notable that the former organisation has lost its previously high media profile, whilst the latter has diseappeared from public view altogether. And let's not forget a certain councillor who seemed to be trying to make a name for herself in campaigning for the policy, but who has since lost almost all credibility as a local politician following her criminal allegations about another councillor.

      If a week is a long time in politics, two years seems like an age.

    2. The fact that those who were for a nil policy couldn't explain why suggests they either didn't think it through or were rushing to get the response in. Either is not good for supporting a nil policy.

      This blog does miss that politician, she was always good for some jaw dropping comments or actions. Even to the point of fearing a couple of blokes, one in a wheelchair, might turn up and challenge her "debate". Guess that was really threatening.

    3. Well, her own blog has been pretty quiet and she's concentrated on uncontentious subjects, ever since the CPS decided that the councillor she accused of making death threats had no case to answer. However, if it's entertainment one's after, she's still shooting her mouth off on Twitter:

    4. Meanwhile, the rump organisation that is Object Now is attempting to tell men what they can and can't WEAR:

    5. Well Object are fading into the background again, that little rally that being associated with the ban the lads mags doesn't look to have brought in much in the way of funding so guess they will be sitting back waiting for someone elses work to claim part of. As a lobby group wonder how Object would be affected by the change in Lobby laws?

      As to our friend on twitter wonder if following her would boost her ego? Still can check in for a laff sometimes.