City council moves to tighten grip on sexual entertainment venues

Lapdancing clubs: new city council policy

Lapdancing clubs: new city council policy

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

SEXUAL entertainment venues are being discouraged from opening in Worcester - with councillors saying they are worried about "exploitation".

Worcester City Council wants to launch a detailed policy with strict rules to protect staff working in them.

The blueprint, which is now out for 12 weeks public consultation, includes:

- Stringent checks on the date of birth and passport information of any workers in a bid to stamp out people trafficking

- Regular enforcement checks to monitor any staffing movements in and out

- External advertising will only be allowed if it is deemed "acceptable to the council"

- The council has the powers to refuse the locations where any sexual establishments can launch, taking a raft of criteria into account including an area's heritage and nearby schools, parks, homes, libraries and places of worship

The policy, which has been in the making for months, will go out to the public for feedback and is expected to be agreed by full council.

It was given a ringing endorsement by the city's licensing committee on Wednesday, with councillors saying the time is right for a firm policy.

In recent years more and more lapdancing clubs have opened up across the country and back in March last year Worcester had its own, after Black Cherry in Lowesmoor started trading.

The new policy is not in response to any concerns about that venue.

Councillor Richard Udall, speaking during the licensing committee meeting, said: "I've no moral concerns about the industry, it's a legitimate one.

"But I do have concerns about protecting people who work at these places - around the country trafficking exists, compulsion exists, violence exists - I'd hate to think that could happen in Worcester."

Councillor Lucy Hodgson said: "These places have got to be environments where people choose to work and are looked after.

"I welcome this, it should go out for consultation, we've waited long enough for it."

Councillor Jo Hodges said: "One thing we know is that there will be more applications to open sexual entertainment venues in the future.

"Without a policy, should an application be turned down there would be more grounds for an appeal."

Councillor Roger Knight said it was "absolutely the right time" to do it, saying he didn't want Worcester to become like "Soho".

As your Worcester News revealed on Monday, the council has adopted national legislation which tightens up the rules on gentleman's clubs.

When Black Cherry opened, the club was allowed to trade without a sexual entertainment licence after the council failed to accept the legislation when it had the opportunity.

That loophole closed in November after the authority adopted relevant sections of the Policing and Crime Act 2009.

Comments (7)

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4:53pm Mon 16 Jun 14

dropkick55 says...

Councillors saying they are worried about "exploitation". Alan Amos has abused the office of the Mayor of Worcester, That's exploitation!!
Councillors saying they are worried about "exploitation". Alan Amos has abused the office of the Mayor of Worcester, That's exploitation!! dropkick55
  • Score: 11

5:10pm Mon 16 Jun 14

Jabbadad says...

And they need to be careful on what they get a tight grip on.
And they need to be careful on what they get a tight grip on. Jabbadad
  • Score: 5

5:31pm Mon 16 Jun 14

CJH says...

Great headline! Was it supposed to be funny?
Great headline! Was it supposed to be funny? CJH
  • Score: 4

8:42pm Mon 16 Jun 14

pinkfluff says...

Whatever floats your boat but I think the young ladies shouldn't be trying to handout flyers to my 15 year old and my husband!!!!! We were on a family night out and no it wasn't that late.
Whatever floats your boat but I think the young ladies shouldn't be trying to handout flyers to my 15 year old and my husband!!!!! We were on a family night out and no it wasn't that late. pinkfluff
  • Score: 4

10:18pm Mon 16 Jun 14

liketoknow says...

there are more moral concerns about the council.
there are more moral concerns about the council. liketoknow
  • Score: 3

7:18pm Thu 19 Jun 14

TonyN1965 says...

As the raids by police on 3 clubs in Scotland trafficking doesn't happen in the strip industry. Just shows the uninformed ignorance of the council. As to exploitation you could point and the jobs of say nurses and say it is exploitative, doesn't see the council trying to close hospital... oh wait ;)

The councillors are making fools of themselves as this has been picked up by a blog with an international readership. Lets see how many schools and churches are open when the club would be? It is ignorance especially seeing that clubs not only benefit the night time economy but provide safer streets due to CCTV and trained security.
As the raids by police on 3 clubs in Scotland trafficking doesn't happen in the strip industry. Just shows the uninformed ignorance of the council. As to exploitation you could point and the jobs of say nurses and say it is exploitative, doesn't see the council trying to close hospital... oh wait ;) The councillors are making fools of themselves as this has been picked up by a blog with an international readership. Lets see how many schools and churches are open when the club would be? It is ignorance especially seeing that clubs not only benefit the night time economy but provide safer streets due to CCTV and trained security. TonyN1965
  • Score: -2

9:55am Sun 6 Jul 14

The Libertarian says...

Very smart club, but I was offered sexual services by a lapdancer there which even for me was going too far! It was suggested that I look up her profile on the prostitution website 'adultwork.com' to arrange some 'extras' ...as the old News of the World would say "I made my excuses and left".....
If anyone's interested, I can send you a link with the dancer's name and details ;-)
Very smart club, but I was offered sexual services by a lapdancer there which even for me was going too far! It was suggested that I look up her profile on the prostitution website 'adultwork.com' to arrange some 'extras' ...as the old News of the World would say "I made my excuses and left"..... If anyone's interested, I can send you a link with the dancer's name and details ;-) The Libertarian
  • Score: 1

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