Before I start just to say the reason why I haven't written more is there wasn't anything that really needed to be highlighted. Just so happens that I got a google alert, a reply to a FoI request and saw something on my facebook wall all within the same 24 hours so it sort of inspired me to write. I have seen a couple of online paper reports of licenses being granted even though 4 people and a dog have complained and the council received one valid objection (okay maybe not the dog). So here we go with my first for a while and more will depend on the google alerts outstanding FoIs and some research.
So this is a three piece article. Firstly I want to talk about the situation at York, as we know we had a consultation that hasn't been put in front of the committee and from my last piece we know that the view was more in favour of the clubs than against. I have now received answers to my follow up questions and want to highlight a couple of points.
So 78 people objected using such language that it was on moral grounds. So 25% of people are objecting on moral grounds which as we know would not be acceptable if the language was used in objections to a license application or renewal. I certainly see many people would want to discount these answers on the grounds morals should not come into the discussion. Secondly just under 10% of respondents objected to the structure of the consultation which does highlight the fact the language and structure need to be looked at for any consultations. We have seen the situation where Leeds used a structure and this appears to have been copied on more than one occasion now.
I found a google alert in my inbox about an application for a new SEV in Sheffield that would be called Villa Mercedes. Standard blah blah in the local on line paper which reads like it has been copy and pasted and only the names have been changed. However one thing caught my eye is a group called ZeroOption4Sheffield who are campaigning for no clubs in Sheffield which would mean the closing of Spearmint Rhino along with blocking the SEV application. As per usual the thinking for your readers with a template letter is on their blog and they do try to link clubs with child sexual exploitation from the macho culture. This is from no actual research just the belief of a senior policeman who is being quoted. Sort of reminds me of another Policeman saying things about clubs without any facts, unfortunately I cannot think of a way of proving or disproving these beliefs so when challenging that sort of comment I would just try to make people aware it is not a fact just a personal belief.
I have noted on twitter that ZO4S as I will call them have reached out to a few people and the template has probably drawn from other older templates. I find it amazing any group can feel they have the right to attack others in their work because of their moral system. Still the consultation for Villa Mercedes is open till August 2nd and if you want to comment I would suggest you write to Licensingservice@sheffield.gov.uk and anyone who has read this blog for any length of time will know the various arguments. And of course there is the implication that Spearmint Rhino scares women and changes their behaviour. How true this is I am not sure but given the research of Professor Phil Hubbard I doubt the truth of the claim. So I would ask anyone who Lives, Works or may do business in the area to write in... I would say it a third time but think my audience is savvy another to only need two nudges
Finally there is a new video from channel 4 featuring the East London Strippers Collective and you sort of wonder why the groups against clubs don't speak to dancers first but just make moral judgements. Anyway if you want to watch it click here this web episode is well worth a watch especially those campaigners who are against clubs and claim to speak for the dancers. Now go speak to the people whose lives you are trying to ruin (NSFW probably unless you own the company).