Lap Dancing Asscociation try to buy some support

September 19, 2009

Money can’t buy you love

Lap-dancing clubs paid lobbyists a five-figure sum to enlist Conservative and Liberal Democrat frontbenchers in their fight against a new licensing regime, The Times has learnt.

The home affairs spokesmen for both parties in the House of Lords tabled a series of amendments designed to water down measures forcing clubs to seek an annual licence as “sex encounter venues”.

Full story

Lap-dance clubs ‘threaten equality’

September 18, 2009
Lap-dance clubs ‘threaten equality’

(UKPA) – 5 hours ago

Women’s equality at work is being threatened by displays of pornography and the use of lap-dancing clubs to entertain clients, a new report has warned.

The Fawcett Society said the sex industry had “infiltrated” the workplace after an “unprecedented” expansion over the past decade.

The campaign group said exposure of employees to pornography at work was “rife”, ranging from the display of pornography and a trend of entertaining clients and staff in lap-dancing clubs.

Research for the Fawcett Society found that 41% of UK lap-dancing clubs directly targeted employers through marketing on their websites.

Most lap-dancing clubs in London provided “discrete receipts” which enabled employees to claim back expenses from their employer, while lads’ mags were displayed for sale in more than 50,000 workplaces, said the report.

There were no independent, compulsory guidelines about the display and sale of pornography, and no major retailer had a policy of covering up lads’ mags or putting them on the top shelf, said the Fawcett Society.

A fifth of men admitted accessing pornography at work.

Kat Banyard, campaigns officer at the Fawcett Society, said: “Despite relative silence on the issue within employer circles, our research shows that the sex industry is a major threat to women’s equality at work.

“For too long, employers have engaged with the sex industry without due regard for the impact on female employees, and have failed to prevent the illicit use of the sex industry by employees in a work context. But this is an issue that employers cannot afford to ignore.”

Date confirmed for re-commencement – September 25th

September 15, 2009

The new date for the re-commencement of the meeting wil be 25th September (next friday) at 7.30 pm.

The venue will once again be at the Civic Centre  in Wood Green – again, attendance is welcome.

Lynne Featherstone’s take on the evening – from her blog

September 13, 2009

Original post here

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Lap Off!

So – finally – the licensing meeting to decide the fate of the lap-dancing club application at the Music Palace in Tottenham Lane, Crouch End, happened last Thursday evening.

The gallery was packed, literally packed, with those who had come to support those objectors who were presenting their case to the licensing committee to try and get this application refused.

The Chair started by asking the applicant’s representative to distinguish between lap and table dancing – which in the end it transpired was not hugely different – other than lap dancing was direct to the client’s lap (sort of obvious) and table dancing was at a table.

And then to the presentations by objectors. First up Cllr Dave Winskill (LibDem) who gave the background to the campaign, described the location (and in the end it is the location that makes this application ungrantable – if that’s a word) and put the application in context of the high level strategies that are meant to guide councillors and officers in how to achieve the sort of borough we want for ourselves and our children.

Local parent Lindsay Wright, who lives a stones throw from the proposed site (and who is two weeks short of giving birth to a baby) gave the most brilliant rational for refusal around Haringey’s own licensing policy – and showed that the application would run a coach and horses through it. When the Council’s own licensing policy says that there is a duty to promote safety and wellbeing etc……… She also, despite the difficulty, described explicitly what lap-dancing was (unlike the applicant’s answer above) with precise detail about proximity and touching – too explicit for me to put on blog.

Four further objectors the addressed the key licensing objectives: avoidance of public nuisance, protection of children, prevention of crime and disorder – and told us about the effects that the granting of this license would have on their neighbourhood, their schools, their town centre and their children.

Then the Head of Hornsey Girls School gave a fluent and effective argument against granting the application for the well being and safety of the 1400 girls at Hornsey High – just around the corner.

This was not a moral crusade – but an outpouring of the real worries about the damage that the local community would suffer if this lap dancing club were to open its doors at that location. And that was the real point – the scale of opposition was all to do with the location – near six schools, two churches, Action for Kids (vulnerable people with learning difficulties), the YMCA and right, slap, bang in the middle of a normal shopping high street in a highly residential area.

The law itself is changing. Currently, a lap-dancing club only needs the same license as a pub or ordinary club. The new law, which has gone through parliament, and which will soon be enacted – changes that. Lap dancing clubs will be counted as ‘sex encounter establishments’ which is exactly what they are. And that new law has come about because of the particular trouble and disorder etc that occurs around such places.

However, even under the old law, together with Haringey’s strategies and licensing objectives – this application can easily be thrown out. Only four months earlier the same licensing committee refused an application from Bar 22 – a similar establishment – on the grounds of proximity to residential areas.

If the committee refused that application – then how much more reason they have to throw this one out too.

However, after two hours – the hearing was adjourned because there would not have been time for the applicant to present their case properly and take questions etc. So now we have to wait for the whole thing to be reconvened.

It was very disappointing because the presentations were so overwhelmingly forceful – I have no doubt that the committee would have rejected the application – and am not totally happy that the applicant (having heard all the residents’ arguments) will now have a few weeks to prepare before the next session. However – quite frankly – the arguments against were so strong it is hard to envisage what on earth the applicants would be able to say or do to make their case.

Well done to Alison Lillystone, whose Fairfield Road home backs onto the site, and to Lindsay and Carol and Stuart – and all who made such a brilliant case.

To be continued……………..

More on the adjournment from Ham and High

September 12, 2009
A DECISION on whether a Crouch End nightclub can offer lap dancing has been deferred to a later date because a meeting overran last night (Thursday).

Members of Haringey’s licensing committee met at Wood Green Civic Centre to decide whether the Music Palace in Tottenham Lane can offer lap dancing and strip shows from 6pm to 2am on weekdays and until 11pm on Sundays.

The applicants have also requested a licence to sell alcohol from 11am to 2am Monday to Saturday and 11am to 11pm on Sundays.

The meeting was adjourned to a later unspecified date because it took two hours to hear objections to the application – which the owners of the Music Palace have a right to reply to.

Crouch End councillor David Winskill was among the people who urged the licensing committee to reject the application.

He said: “How can anyone be proud of a lap dancing club? It is hardly the kind of establishment that engenders a sense of civic pride – directly going against one of the stated objectives of [Haringey’s] sustainable communities strategy.

“I defy the applicant or her representative to explain to me and my community how plonking a lap dancing club opposite an infants’ school and in the middle of a residential area where hundreds of children live helps to achieve these goals.”

For more on this story see the Ham&High Broadway on Thursday (September 17).

Footnote : We should add that we did NOT take 2 hours (even though we could quite easily have found 2 hours worth of objections) – our presentation and objections actually took 50 minutes.

Lap dance club licence hearing adjourned – HORNSEY JOURNAL

September 11, 2009

Lap dance club licence hearing adjourned
11 September 2009
LapOff! campaigners before the meeting
LapOff! campaigners before the meeting
CAMPAIGNERS face an agonising wait to learn whether a lap dancing club will be allowed to open in Crouch End.

Hundreds of protesters packed Wood Green Civic Centre to hear a licensing application by the Music Palace in Tottenham Lane last night (Thursday) – but the hearing was adjourned after two hours because of lack of time.

Councillor David Winskill, who opened a 45-minute presentation by objectors, said after the meeting: “It is immensely disappointing that last night’s meeting was adjourned as residents felt that they had clearly won many of the arguments.

“Our overall ambition is to protect children and young people in Crouch End from exposure to inappropriate and sleazy establishments like this.”

Owners plan to open the club as a lap dancing venue, providing topless and fully nude dances for men from 6pm.

But protesters, some of whom were brought to tears by their strength of feeling, fear the club’s proximity to the YMCA, primary and secondary schools and a church is inappropriate.

Alison Lillystone, whose Fairfield Road home backs onto the site, told the meeting: “People waiting at the bus stop outside coming back from church or school events will be encountering those men too dangerous or too smashed to be allowed in the club.” She said the club would provide a “fertile hunting ground” for prostitutes and drug dealers.

Carol Jones, headteacher of the Hornsey School for Girls in nearby Inderwick Road, said: “Our girls would be at risk of male violence, sexual provocation and sexual offers.” She backed her claims with a survey by pupils at the 1,400-strong school revealing 82 per cent said they would feel “desperately unsafe” if the proposal got the go ahead.

Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, joined the panel of protesters insisting the application was in the “wrong location” and cited the recent failed attempt of Bar 22 in Wood Green to become a strip club as justification for rejecting the application.

The meeting ran out of time before the panel of nine councillors could hear the counter-arguments by Music Palace manager Serdal Ziya, who is being represented by law firm Poppleston Allen.

A date is yet to be set but will have to fit the diaries of more than 19 interested parties.

For a full report on the meeting see next week’s Hornsey Journal.

Tonight’s meeting

September 10, 2009

Have returned around an hour ago from the Civic Centre to report that sadly the meeting was adjourned – so the nightmare is not yet over. We put together a fantastic case, and were helped by a superb contribution from Carol Jones, who is the head of Hornsey School for Girls, and Lynne Featherstone, MP for Wood Green and Hornsey. Six months of hard work went into the presentation and we are confident that we covered as many points as possible, and have given the council the information they need to do the right thing. There was also a moving contribution from a mother of 2 who spoke for so many in Crouch End when she mentioned her fears if this club is given permission to host lap dancing.

Present for the applicants was Serdal Ziya and Lisa Sharkey, her solicitor. Dentkas Hassan was not present.

At 9.30 pm after hearing our representations, a decision was taken to adjourn after Ms Sharkey informed the hearing that her representation will take 30-40 minutes, meaning that no decision can be made tonight as the hearing would probably go on until 11.30pm, which was unacceptable.

We are obviously very disapointed, as it means putting our lives on hold as continue the relentless fight against this proposed club, but respect the decision, and will be ready to continue when a new date is set.

As soon as we know the new date – it will be on here – keep logging in.

Many, many thanks to all that came tonight – we had the entire gallery packed out, and the periodic applause was a fantastic antidote to having to address in such a pressurised situation.

Also thanks to Carol Jones, Lynne Featherstone,the tireless (and inspirational) Adrian Essex and David Winskill as well as everyone else who spoke tonight.

Fingers crossed.

Ham and High editorial – Music Palace could be new “trouble spot”

September 3, 2009

Following the shooting in Muswell Hill, the Ham and High warns that Tottenham Lane could be next – we are inclined to agree with them

Warning shots in nightclub dispute

It is just a touch ironic that as Haringey Council prepared to adjudicate on the controversial plan to turn a former Crouch End music venue into an establishment for erotic dancing, a nightclub just up the road has been sprayed by gunfire, resulting in a night of panic for everyone who was inside at the time, and bullet wounds to two men and a woman.

The incident is being investigated by officers attached to Trident, the specialist Met Police Unit set up to investigate gun crime in London’s black community. It is not often that Trident officers are required to visit Muswell Hill, but it is because of its rarity that this incident is so deeply worrying to residents. Can we now expect more of the same in the future? is the question many of them will be asking.

There is, of course, no connection whatsoever between the Hill nightclub in Muswell Hill and the Music Palace in Crouch End. In fact, very few complaints were ever registered about public order in and around the Palace [Bar Rocca is a completely different matter! -ed.] But perhaps that is because, unlike the Hill, it failed to attract consistently large numbers of customers. Indeed its lack of success as a bona fide music club is the reason its owners want to try something completely different [their marketing plan was certainly ‘different’, ie no marketing at all! – ed.]

But what is relevant is that Muswell Hill residents living close to the Hill have often voiced concerns about safety, especially after closing time, and a number of serious incidents have been reported. Some would say that this is an incident waiting to happen. While shocked by the extent of the weekend’s violence, not too many people in the neighbourhood will be surprised that a serious gun crime has now taken place, realising their worst fears. Sometimes, residents know best what is good for an area [this is the quote of the last few months for me – ed.]

There are many people who object to lap dancing in Crouch End on moral grounds [although Lapoff has never based its campaign on this as it is not admissable under the four licensing criteria – ed.], and many more who fear that it will bring an undesirable element into the area. For others, it is a combination of both. But Muswell Hill residents, who have watched with concern as one particular nightclub became a magnet for trouble makers, will no doubt feel entitled to warn against the creation of another trouble spot a mile or so away.

[Editor – this proves that it is very, very hard to close these venues down, even if they are a constant source of trouble. Despite this firearms incident, no doubt the Hill will be opening its doors this weekend, causing residents in the local community even more disruption and danger to innocent passers by, whose freedom to walk the streets is eroded because the club owner’s ‘right’ to make a profit is put above the safety and wishes of local people. Local businesses in Crouch End have worked hard to build up a certain vibe and atmosphere which is why so many families want to move here. Don’t let one man’s ambition to destroy all this win the day – COME ALONG TO THE CIVIC CENTRE NEXT THURSDAY EVENING].

Shooting in Muswell Hill Nightclub

September 1, 2009

From the Standard website

Detectives are also hunting a gunman who shot a number of people inside a nightclub in Muswell Hill, north London.

Panic broke out at The Hill Club when the man opened fire in the early hours of Saturday.

Three people were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds, while several others were injured in the crush people rushed to the exits.

An accurate picture of the number of casualties is yet to emerge, with some reports saying as many as six people were shot.

The “funky house” night at the club was two hours from ending when the man opened fire at around 2am.

Among those injured was a woman, 27, shot in the hand, a man, 23, shot in the chest and another man, 28, shot in the neck.

The three victims are said to be stable in hospital.

Police urged another man, who left the club after being given first aid for a gunshot wound to the leg, to contact them.

Several other people hurt in the stampede to the exits were also taken to hospital, but their injuries were not said to be serious.

Detective Sergeant Jez Dargan from Operation Trident, which investigates gun crime in the black community, said: “This is a serious incident where one man fired multiple shots in a nightclub.

“The panic from the clubbers after the shots led to even more injuries and I would urge anyone who was in the club and hasn’t spoken to police to come forward and help us catch this man.”

Comment – Muswell Hill has recently developed a reputation as being unsafe at night – particularily by the roundabout area where there are lots of nightclubs – we contend that this could easily happen in Tottenham Lane.