Comment of the week

March 27, 2009

“I personally would like to take all those who like to watch lap dancers and all those who like to lap dance and stick them on a desert island somewhere.  There they can dance and watch dances til they all get bored of each other and this sleazy activity, which really has no place in our society in 2009, won’t then be a problem for the rest of us.”

Find a more unsuitable location competition

March 26, 2009

With at least six schools nearby, the YMCA, various churches and a childrens’ charity / training centre for young people, the applicants have really excelled at finding surely one of the most unsuitable choices of venue in lap dance history.

The question is – can you better it? Any suggestions welcome – the best one wins a limited edition Lap Off! t shirt.

Serdal Ziya retires from the argument

March 26, 2009

Interesting news from the Ham and High today, that (applicant) Ms Ziya has said that “she doesn’t want to make any more comments – they (us) have got to do what they’ve got to do, and we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do.” Sounds like a Clint Eastwood movie (The Good, the Bad, and the strippers?)

What a shame that we can no longer look forward to such gems as

“And people who do these types of jobs, you have to love it to do it. You can’t dance if you don’t love it; it shows. I am a hairdresser by trade and I know that if you don’t like what you do it doesn’t come out as good.”
“We understand about the school opposite but I can’t imagine the place opening that early. The hours that we will be operating, kids should be at home – in bed I hope.”
“The comment made about getting people aroused and sending them out on the street – you can watch an arousing film at home.

And my personal favourite

“Most men think of sex 24/7 anyway. It doesn’t mean that they are going to take that sort of action after going to the club.”

Move over, Freud..

Lap Dancing – the daily grind

March 26, 2009

Pretty gruesome stuff in this Times article – surely even the most ardant lap dance fan would argue that a quiet residential area opposite a school is maybe not the best place for this

“Men who agree to a dance are told how to sit (legs spread, hands placed safely on the velour banquette), as their dancer runs through the house rules. Only the punters are bound by the “no touching” rule. Dancers can get as close as they want, grinding into a man’s lap and simulating sex. A girl will suck her own nipples, pushing them tantalisingly close to the punter’s mouth. In full strip clubs she will remove her thong for the final part of the dance. The whole thing lasts little more than two minutes. In a busy club, the dancer will then tuck the proffered notes into her garter and move on to the next slavering male.”

Full story here

Charlie Browns

March 25, 2009

No, not the loveable (if slightly annoying) cartoon character – this was Haringeys’ other venture into the glamourous world of strip clubs – shut down in 2003 for operating without the correct permission apparently.

A quick google reveals that the club appears to have risen from the flames – unfortunatly without the critical aclaim that it no doubt deserves – an online review read

“A chavvy r’n’b night club just up the road from Wood Green tube stop which is open til 4am on friday and saturdays. If you like chavs, bad music and fake palm trees then you will love this place. If like the majority you don’t then dont bother, even if you get turned away from somewhere else previously in the night.”

If the Music Palace get their way, the bad taste police are going to have to work overtime.(Although as we know, chavs are not welcome at the Music Palace strip joint, oh no they are going for businessmen, and smartly dressed ones at that.)

The reality of lap dancing bars

March 25, 2009

Lap dancing clubs are marketed as being a glamorous and socially acceptable night out, accompanied by professional advertising and in many cases an up-market ambiance. The realities, however, are very different.

These clubs normalise the idea of paying for sex and this is something which should not be acceptable in modern society. Research has linked lap-dancing to human trafficking, prostitution and an increase in sexual violence towards women. For example, after lap dancing clubs opened in Camden, incidents of rape rose by 50% with other types of sexual violence increasing by 57%. The existence of such clubs is a regressive step in what has been a progressive decade for women’s rights.

As a result of the 2003 Licensing Act, strip clubs have sprung up across the country due to loop holes in the legislation which make it easier for such clubs to get licences. Indeed, under the current rules, venues do not need special permission for nudity and the powers of local authorities to reject applications are severely restricted. Now, strip-clubs are licensed in the same way that cafes and ballet schools are.

Read more here

Council backing new law to veto lap dancing clubs

March 25, 2009

From The Hornsey Journal

A NEW law giving councils increased powers to veto lap dancing clubs has been backed by Haringey Council, it has been confirmed.

But it is likely to come too late for campaigners fighting to stop what would be the borough’s only lap dancing club opening in Crouch End.

Music Palace
Music Palace

Councillor Nilgun Canver, (Labour) cabinet member for crime and community safety, confirmed Haringey Council has lobbied the Local Government Association in support of new powers under the Policing and Crime Bill.

She said: “Whatever happens I would encourage residents to come forward and raise their voice. Whether it can achieve results or not, it shows the government and other bodies the residents are not happy and have got a voice on this issue.

“They should know that legislative change is required and needed at the moment for residents’ views to be taken into account. It is being debated and decided and I’m fully supportive of that.”

The bill had a second reading in the House of Commons on January 19 and is now being scrutinised by a Public Bill Committee.

It aims to tighten controls on lap dancing clubs and the Local Government Association is being consulted on amendments.

Councillor Matt Cooke, cabinet member for community cohesion and involvement, has also moved a motion for Haringey to “opt-in” to the powers, due to debated at a full council meeting on Monday.

The motion says: “This council believes that lap-dancing clubs are part of the commercial sex industry, which normalise the sexual objectification of women. It believes that it is an exploitative industry which damages gender equality.”

Critics blame relaxation of the licensing laws for an explosion in lap dancing and other “sex encounter venues” across the country.

A Haringey Council hearing on Thursday, May 14, to decide if Music Palace in Tottenham Lane, Crouch End, should be granted a licence for lap dancing will be the first in the borough under the new relaxed laws.

Campaigners from the Lap Off! group took to the streets again this week and gathered 500 signatures on a petition opposing the bid on Saturday.

More than 35 Crouch End businesses, from bars and restaurants to hairdressers and a pet shop, have also pledged support.

Lindsay Wright, Lap Off! member, said: “The response we have had has been phenomenal – a resounding no for this outrageous application.”

But despite the swell of feeling, the council stressed it can only consider objections under four strict criteria – prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, public nuisance, and prevention of harm to children.

It has not commented on whether a precedent will be set by the Music Palace decision, saying only that “each application is judged against the provisions of the Licensing Act 2003”.

But licensing law has been tested by a number of betting shop applications in the last two years – which are judged on similar grounds.

Haringey rejected some early licences – only for the decisions to be overturned at Magistrates’ Court, leaving the council to pay hefty cost settlements.

Councillor Canver said one suggested measure under the new law is to stop the right of appeal to magistrates, giving councils the final say on applications.

She has also lobbied for more stringent controls of working practices in lap dancing clubs.

The last lap dancing club to operate in Haringey was Charlie Browns in Wood Green, which opened in 2003 but was prosecuted by the council for operating without the correct permission.

Update on the legal reform on licensing lap dancing bars

March 24, 2009

We have had an update from Lynne Featherstones’ office regarding the current bill going through Parliament (this bill is designed to close the current loophole regarding lap dancing in the same licensing terms as cafes)

The main points of the changes are:

– Sex establishments will be brought into line with the restrictions that are placed on sex shops and sex cinemas – which mean they can use the following criteria to assess the application:

“When considering an application for a sex establishment licence the Council may only use the following criteria:

  • The suitability of the Applicant
  • Whether the person applying is a “front” person for someone else
  • The location and situation of the premises in relation to other premises in the area
  • Whether the number of sex establisments in that locality is equal to, or exceeds the number which the Council considers appropriate for the area.

– Local Authorities must opt in to the rules, and only apply if the Council chose to the apply the restrictions

– The rules are retrospective so all establishments must re-apply.  The lap-dancing industry is lobbying against this and we will resist attempts to amend the proposals in this way.

This is fantastic news – let’s all hope that the bill is passed in it’s current form.

More Shops sign our petition

March 24, 2009

We are pleased to confirm that the following shops have signed our petition against the Music Palace application

Dunn’s Bakery
Snappy Snaps
Rock around the Clock
The Attic (hairdressers)
David Clulow
Prospero’s Books
Haelan Centre
Martyn Gerrard
Hornsey Pet and Garden Shop
Pizza Bella

We should also mention that Budgens will have our peitions in store for people to sign.

When lapdancing came to Guardian country

March 24, 2009

A bit of an inaccurate view of Crouchenders, but an interesting read. Also good to know who the one person was that wouldn’t sign the petition on saturday! (see comments)

I never saw the point of lap-dancing clubs. Why not just go to a brothel? I wouldn’t go to a pub where I could only look at the beer, nor a restaurant where I sat there salivating over food before being kicked out by some Russian bouncers. I hate to compare women with meat but that is, after all, the point of these places.

Read more here