Stripping the illusion: lapdancing campaign     Campaign to change the way lapdancing clubs are licensed



 

 

 

News!

29 March 2014: Leeds City Council has won the first round of its legal battle to restrict the number of lap dancing clubs in the city centre. But one of the venues is planning a new challenge: contribute to the debate here.
 
20 March 2014: A limit could be set on the number of lap dancing clubs allowed in Cheltenham – and the council is not ruling out a nil limit! Read about it here.
 
19 March 2014: A cap on the number of lap dancing clubs may be set in Cheltenham! Residents recently campaign against a club application on the Bath Road, but their efforts were unsuccessful. However, the campaign has made councillors realise that further consultation is needed on the number of lap dancing clubs to be permitted. Read about it here.
 
13 March 2014: An application for a lap dancing club in Manchester’s historic ‘Northern Quarter’ is rejected: read here.
 
1 March 2014: A Leicester lap dancing club application is approved, despite concerns expressed by neighbours. 

13 February 2014: Bid for fourth lap dancing club on one Birmingham street is rejected. Read here.
 
12 February 2014: Oxford lap dancing club to close after licence appeal rejected. Read more here.
 
11 February 2014: A Cheltenham resident responds here to the decision to open a lap dancing club, despite objections.
 
10 February 2014: Cheltenham club licence approved despite nearly 200 written objections from residents... Councillors sitting on the committee were reminded they were not allowed to judge the application on ‘moral’ grounds.Read more here.

5 February 2014: Lowestoft will get a lap dancing and pole dancing club, despite residents’ concerns it will create a “no go zone” for women. Read here.
 
5 February 2014: Police in Plymouth challenge a lap dancing club licence application: see here.

1 February 2014: York Council decides to renew lap dancing club licence, despite a strong campaign of objections from York Feminist Network in collaboration with residents. Read YFN’s objection submission here.

31 January 2014: Great news! Diana Johnson MP submits bill to “Give communities a say on lap dancing clubs”. See here.
 
28 January 2014: A lap dancing club in Oxford is appealing the refusal of a licence: read here.
 
28 January 2014: OBJECT speaks out on why reforms to strengthen regulations of sexual entertainment are necessary: read here.
 
21 January 2014: More pressure from MPs – Newquay and St Austell MP Stephen Gilbert urged Home Office minister Norman Baker to close the legal loophole that allows unlicensed sexual entertainment – read here.

20 January 2014: Another example of sexual entertainment events being held without a licence due to the loophole in legislation (as well as apparent non-payment of wages) here.

17 December 2013: Campaign against lap dancing club in Worcester highlights effects of commercial sexual exploitation on women. See here.
 
17 December 2013: Doncaster lap dancing club application refused, due to its proximity to a centre supporting vulnerable women. The ‘Loaded Late Bar’ have appealed the decision. Read here.
 
13 December 2013: Highland’s Director of Public Health lodges an objection to an Inverness lap dancing club, expressing concerns about the exploitation of women dancers. Read here.
 
12 December 2013: Leeds lap dancing clubs allowed to stay open while they seek a judicial review. See here.
 
11 December 2013: A women’s charity in Halifax is objecting to the proposed licence renewal of a lap dancing club directly opposite its drop-in centre. Read here.
 
10 December 2013: A lap dancing club in Worcester is to open after a second attempt by the businessman behind the scheme. See here. This follows the admission from Worcester Council licensing chief in September that they made a mistake in failing to adopt the new licensing regime, which would have given them powers to prevent the club from opening: read about it here.
 
6 December 2013: Great news from Leeds! When campaigning started five years ago, there were eight lap dancing clubs in Leeds and plans for a ‘super club’. But of the six that applied for their licences to be renewed recently, only two were offered a year’s renewal; one a 6-month renewal and the other three must cease operating as sex entertainment venues by Friday 13 December. See here and here for details of the ruling, and here for an interview with one of the feminist groups campaigning for a nil-limit policy.
 
6 December 2013: York Feminist Network launches campaign against the licence renewal of the last lap-dancing club in York! Read about it here.  
 
5 December 2013: Brothels, sex shops and lap dancing clubs in Soho were raided by police as part of a clampdown on trafficking.
 
7 November 2013: The licence of a Bournemouth lap dancing club has been renewed for six months, despite evidence of the breach of ‘no touch’ rules in the club – see here. Note that the reporting of the breach blames the women for the breach.
 
6 November 2013: UK Sport introduced guidelines on the behaviour of the sports personalities it sponsors, stating that athletes who went to lap dancing clubs (compromising their status as ‘role models’) would risk losing sponsorship. However, this was withdrawn after media criticism, with one Olympic gold medallist calling the move ‘ridiculous’ and maintaining that going to lap dancing clubs is ‘just harmless fun’. See here.
 
26 October 2013: A lap dancing club is to open Blackpool despite concerns from residents: see here.
 
17 October 2013: A lap dancing club in Leamington had its licence renewed despite over 360 letters of objection from local residents: see here.
 
10 October 2013: A Watford lap dancing club had its SEV licence application refused after police investigation discovered ‘astonishing rule breaches’, including sexual services on offer to customers: read here. According to the Watford Observer (here), the police were ‘concerned that the club was being managed and run "from the background" by an individual who is not named on any of the official documents or licences, which it described as "highly suspicious"’.
 
8 October 2013: An Inverness lap dancing club has applied to open seven nights a week: see here.
 
28 September 2013: City of London nightclub fined £28k for operating a lap dancing venue without an SEV licence: see here.
 
21 September 2013: Cheltenham adopts measures to keep venues that offer ‘temporary’ lap dancing events in check: see here. A loophole in the current legislation allows venues to hold lap dancing events without applying for SEV licences as long as the events last less than 24 hours and take place less than once a month. OBJECT and others have long raised concerns that venues will exploit this loophole to operate as SEVs without the associated regulation.
 
19 September 2013: A Chester lap dancing club that had its SEV licence rejected is determined to keep operating lap dancing evenings by touring them to other venues. This exploits a loophole in the regulation of SEVs that allows lap dancing events to be held in ordinary venues no more than 11 times a year. See here. The application was rejected after it was determined that the club was too near residential properties: see here.
 
19 September 2013: Diana Johnson MP advocates improved regulation of lap dancing clubs and noting the loophole in the current legislation. See here
 
18 September 2013: Tower Hamlets Council votes a nil policy for new sex establishments! The move comes in response to residents’ complaints about existing clubs. Read about it here.
 
16 September 2013: Decision on expansion of Leeds lap dancing club delayed as it emerged that one of the three Councillors on the sub-committee had a ‘conflict of interests’ with decision-making on the club: see here.
 
10 September 2013: Minister admits that nightclubs are exploiting the loophole in lap dancing licensing regulation: see here. Jeremy Browne, the Lib Dem Home Office Minister, warned that venues are exploiting exemptions that allow ‘one-off lap dancing events’ to put on shows without having to request a licence and abide by the regulations.
 
4 September 2013: Glasgow takes steps to implement new licensing regime and limit lap dancing clubs. Read here.
 
2 September 2013: A Blackpool lap dancing club has had its licence renewed after promising to comply by stricter rules. Note that this reporting implicitly places blame on the women dancers for the breach of ‘no touch’ rules.
 
7 August 2013: A lap dancing club in Oxford is given leave to appeal the rejection of its licence. Read here.
 
6 August 2013: Lap dancing jobs are advertised on government jobseeker website, despite the 2010 ban: see here. OBJECT had campaigned to end sex industry jobs being advertised in job centres. 
 
31 July 2013: Swansea votes to set a nil limit on sex entertainment venues! Read here. Campaigners, including OBJECT supporters, led a tireless campaign in support of the nil policy.
 
31 July 2013: Leeds campaigners respond to plans on the expansion of a lap dancing club, despite new cap. See here.
 
5 July 2013: Oxford lap dancing club loses High Court appeal to have SEV licence renewed. See here.
 
5 April 2013: Bedford Council have agreed a ‘nil’ policy for SEVs! 10 Councillors voted unanimously for a nil policy, after public consultations during which over 3,000 local residents wrote in support of this.
 
 
 

News archive here.


 


Success!

Great news from Leeds! When campaigning started five years ago, there were eight lap dancing clubs in Leeds and plans for a ‘super club’. But of the six that applied for their licences to be renewed recently, only two were offered a year’s renewal; one a 6-month renewal and the other three must cease operating as sex entertainment venues by Friday 13 December. See here and here for details of the ruling, and here for an interview with one of the feminist groups campaigning for a nil-limit policy.

Tower Hamlets Council votes a nil policy for new sex establishments! The move comes in response to residents’ complaints about existing clubs. Read about it here.

A Watford lap dancing club had its SEV licence application refused after police investigation discovered ‘astonishing rule breaches’, including sexual services on offer to customers: read here. According to the Watford Observer (here), the police were ‘concerned that the club was being managed and run "from the background" by an individual who is not named on any of the official documents or licences, which it described as "highly suspicious"’.

Cheltenham adopts measures to keep venues that offer ‘temporary’ lap dancing events in check: see here. A loophole in the current legislation allows venues to hold lap dancing events without applying for SEV licences as long as the events last less than 24 hours and take place less than once a month. OBJECT and others have long raised concerns that venues will exploit this loophole to operate as SEVs without the associated regulation.

Glasgow takes steps to implement new licensing regime and limit lap dancing clubs. Read here.

Swansea votes to set a nil limit on sex entertainment venues! Read here. Campaigners, including OBJECT supporters, led a tireless campaign in support of the nil policy.

Lap dancing club refused licence renewal in Wilmslow! See here.

Bedford Council approves nil cap on sexual entertainment venues! See here.

Joy as lap dancing bid for Pandora's in George Green is rejected by judge! See here.

Lap dancing club plea rejected after demo in Sheffield! See here.

Councils reject lap dancing club in Blackpool! See here.

Wilmslow town council says no to lap dancing clubs! See here.

Application to open fully nude lap dancing club in Maidstone is thrown out. See here.

Lap dancing club in Bedford has its licence application rejected after strong local campaign.   

Doncaster
 club withdraws SEV application after resident opposition.

Solent Feminist Network have led a successful campaign to get Portsmouth City Council to consider limiting the number of lap dancing clubs. See 
here. The new policy is currently being drawn up. SFN is pressing for a nil limit for the area. 

Solent Feminist Network have also persuaded councillors to reject a planning application by Wiggle lap dancing club in Portsmouth. See 
here.

Councillors vote in favour of Cheshire East Town council setting a nil limit! Read 
here.


Success archive here. 


TAKE ACTION

  

Lobby your council on lap dancing licensing

Local councils can now license dancing clubs as part of the sex industry rather than as 'leisure venues'. 
 

This is a 2-step process. Councils must first adopt the new license and then need to decide how to apply it.

Use our simple step-by-step guide to lobby your council at both stages of the process!

 

Step 1: Find out if your council has  adopted the new licensing 


Find out if your council has passed any resolutions by the full council on 'Sexual Entertainment Venues' (lap dancing clubs) by:
 

- Contacting the licensing department of your local council

(the telephone number for the main switchboard will be on your council's website)

- Or searching your council's website
 

 

Step 2: Download the relevant Toolkit and take action!

 

To be used if your local council has not already taken up the new licensing regime.

 

Toolkit 2:  How to make sure your council makes full use of new licensing regime for lap dancing clubs

To be used after your council has adopted the new licensing regime.
 


 Other Useful Information

 


Organisations


Read the Joint Statement of support and email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to add your organisation as a signatory


Spread the word 

Download Stripping the Illusion campaign images. Spread the word in your community, workplace or home.

Download Stripping the Illusion posters featuring testimony from women formerly in lap dancing :


     Lucy poster
     Liz poster
     Sarah poster
 


 
 

Protests and activism

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to find out about action taking place in your area. To date, OBJECT activists have protested outside Parliament, City Hall in London,  Spearmint Rhino's Christmas party and held our own 'Stripping the Illusion' awards. Click below to watch these actions on youtube:


Student and trade unions 

Are you part of a student or trade union and want to get involved with the campaign? Download our campaign packs including model motions below. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.
 

  • Student campaign pack  (pdf)
  • Trade union campaign pack (pdf)