Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Councils get bigger lap-dancing role

  • Comment
Councils are to be allowed to take local concerns more into account in deciding whether lap-dancing clubs can be opened.

The move, which will be included in the Queen’s Speech later today, will reclassify such clubs as “sex establishments”, a move long called for by councils and the Local Government Association.

LGA deputy chair Richard Kemp (Lib Dem) has said the current legal discrepancy over the status of such clubs - as opposed to sex shops and sex cinemas - was a legal loophole that needed closing.

“The law as it stands does not allow councils to consider the type of entertainment being provided or any concerns about the impact it may have on surrounding homes and businesses,” he said last month.

“Parents' concerns about their children, or neighbours' concerns about links to prostitution and other crime, should not be ruled out on technical grounds.”

Campaign group the Fawcett Society said the legal discrepancy had contributed to a doubling of lap-dancing clubs in England since 2004, despite opposition from councils and residents groups.

It said there were now over 300 such clubs across the country.

Fawcett Society director Katherine Rake said the legislative change would be a victory for campaigners who had “exposed the inherent sexism of lap dancing clubs”.

She added: “Sex Encounter Establishment licensing will enable local authorities to control and regulate lap dancing clubs, and enable local communities to claim back their high streets.”

Sasha Rakoff, Director of campaign group Object said the legal change was “a common sense measure” that would empower local communities.

“The current licensing regime has not provided a framework for community and equality objectives to be considered and a string of club openings have gone against the wishes of local people,” she said.

Also included in the Fair Rules for Strong Communities legislation will be proposals for more powerful anti-binge drinking legislation, a crackdown on rogue off-licences, and plans for stronger regulation of the opening of betting shops.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.