Sunday, September 23, 2018

And This Really is a Peach

So after a long hiatus, TonyN here. We have been quiet lately, as there has been nothing important to post about. There have been small bits and pieces but nothing that would have a significant impact on the Strip Industry. So it has taken some pretty important news from the Wirral to get us up and around. So what is this earth shattering news and why is it so important to the industry? Well Peachez is a strip club that opened some months ago, it seems without the necessary planning permission. The club had been running without any incidents for over 6 months when the Leader of the Council decided it was time to close it down. Now according to the bloggers at Wirral Leaks, Phil 'Powerboy Pip' Davies. the council leader, has an ego and by the sounds of it a big ego at that. Certainly if you want to find out more about some of the shennigans I would suggest WirralLeaks as a good place to start.

Now Peachez was operating legally with a SEV License issued from the Council back in October 2017 as there were no indications of any license breaches and as followers of the blog know you cannot apply moral judgements on venues. Now the councillors Phil Davies and Jean Stapleton decided to use planning laws to close the venue by declaring it as unsuitable for the location. So Peachez appealed and the national planning inspectorate had to make a decision on if the club was suitable. And this is where it gets exciting and has much wider impact. Well the directorate has ruled in favour of the club and it said it creates a positive impact on the night time economy.

Now Phil and Jean must be fuming as they have not only failed to close the club, they have created a National Precedent that other clubs can use when councils argue inappropriate locations. See the council not only lost the decision but they were ordered to pay Peachez costs. And knowing how tight council budgets are, having to spend large chunks of change to try and close a club and fail you can expect a lot of councils to go well not going to risk our money knowing how the ruling stands.

So some of the arguments from Cllr Davies, Cllr Stapleton and Ms J Wood MBE are all much of a muchness. Arguing exploitation is one thing but every employee is exploited by their work in one way or another, more important would be to discuss the issues with the dancers to protect them rather than denying women the choice. And yes no choice is made in a vacuum but talking to those involved rather than making judgements would seem far more sensible.

I did note in the various articles that there was a reference to domestic violence, however no actually proof was presented just chinese whispers hinting at the Lilith report without coming out and saying it as we know just how debunked the Lilith report was and the fact there is no linking venues to domesstic violence. Now Ms Woods works at the rape survival unit and that is why she has her MBE, I have nothing against her and praise her work with women struggling with a horrible situation, however her position gives her influence. If you take time to read her twitter you can see the type of person she is, as an individual, from the retweets. Especially the retweets from someone calling themselves Nordic Model, now they reference strip clubs as places that are full of trafficked women and children. Of course we know in the clubs investigated under Pentameter and Pentameter 2 no victims of traffcking have been found.

But of course facts are not important when talking about clubs people are too busy passing moral judgements and trying to hide them as legitimate issues. The use of planning to close venues has been shot down unless there truly is an issue and at this point I suspect councils will have to accept clubs and the postive impact they have on the night time economy , at least for the time being.

So we now have morals not being acceptable as a reason to close a club and the whole issue of using planning applications to refuse or close existing clubs. Council have really tight budgets and thanks to Wirral Council leader letting his ego get away from him and trying to close a legal business we now have a legal precendent. And as to the arguments that Davies, Stapleton and Wood have put forward we have no idea who decided to try and recreate the fear mongering that was behind Lilith but that doesn't wash as there are no causal links between clubs and sexual violence.

One other thing that was quoted was the increasing numbers of venues, now I haven't checked for a while but by my count we have gone from over 300 to under 180 which is a 40% drop in venues around England and Wales. So as you see people making all sorts of claims none of which are based on any sort of facts. But thanks to the egos working on a vacuum of information we now have a better position for clubs around the Country.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)

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