Lap Off logging off

November 4, 2009

I would like to bring this blog to a close, and say how much I have enjoyed writing it and being involved in this immense camapign. I will keep the account open just in case the Music Palace decide to try their luck again, but with the imminent law changes just can’t see it happening.

Thanks for all the comments – thanks even to the 2 abusers that chose to spend their spare time writing in to tell us how much we suck. We love you Isaac Hunt and Spikey Dude.

I can still remember that bleak meeting at the Music Palace when a smirking Dentkas Hassan thought that he had it in the bag, and their smug, crocodile shoe wearing solicitor telling people that there was nothing they could do. I have no idea how Mr Hassan reacted when he heard about the application being declined, but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t smirking anymore.

Peter Stringfellow, the guy from Secret’s nightclub on BBC news that looked like a non-league football manager, the Lap Dancing Association, Popplestone Allen, your boys took one hell of a beating!

It’s over – official

October 19, 2009

Friday was the deadline for lodging notice of an appeal – it passed without incident. There will be no Lap Dancing bar in Crouch End anytime soon.

New site for Lap Dance campaigners

October 19, 2009

You may be interested in which is an attempt by the Crouch End nimbys (nimbies?) to share their experiences of objecting to a lap dancing application. We hope its useful.

Proof of how hard it is to close down these hell-holes

October 14, 2009

Lap dance club can open after midnight

A lap dancing club in the Black Country has avoided having its opening hours slashed despite police concerns over a string of violent episodes.

Instead, Angels Gentlemen’s Club in West Bromwich has been ordered to stick to a number of conditions after a hearing by licensing chiefs. The club was hauled before a panel after police said it wanted the club to close at midnight after a number of late-night assaults, including a fight that left one man with a fractured cheekbone and a vicious robbery.

In a separate incident, a member of staff had a baseball bat. But at yesterday’s meeting an agreement was reached to allow the club to remain open until 4am on Friday and Saturday nights provided bosses stick to stringent new rules.

Customers must be scanned by metal detectors and searched by staff, while lighting and CCTV must be installed on the car park.

A record of door staff must also be kept, and groups of five people or more will be refused entry unless they agree to have details of their identification taken.


The committee heard the club, based just off the High Street in the town centre, has had six police incident logs associated with it, with 10 crime reports between September 12, 2008, and June 29, 2009.

Of the 10 crimes, staff and management have been involved in eight of them.

In one incident a man was pushed to the ground and his watch, mobile and wallet stolen in October last year.

One worker was also charged with possession of a baseball bat, while in June another is said to have inflicted racially aggravated malicious wounding on a customer. The club has also tested positive for cocaine.

Licensing Inspector Pat Smythe told the hearing at Sandwell Council House that police were not happy.

He said: “The next occasion where we have any problems with this premises we might have to invoke more serious powers on serious disorder.”

Mr Heath Thomas, representing the club, said: “It appears to me that there have been few problems on that premises in that time.”

Panel chair Councillor Mohammad Rouf, said: “We have taken such steps as we consider necessary and which are proportionate in the promotion of the licensing objective which is for the prevention of crime and disorder.”

Council acts on lap dance club loophole 08 October 2009

October 8, 2009

A failed bit of hokery pokery is brought to an end..

A LEGAL loose end in a battle over a lap dancing club has been tied-up by Haringey Council officers this week. A planning bid outstanding by the owners of Music Palace in Tottenham Lane, Crouch End, was dismissed as irrelevant.

They wanted planning permission to turn the former Samaritans building into a “gentleman’s club”, but planning officers decided the changes proposed were not significant enough to warrant permission. The club failed to win a licence to hold lap dancing and striptease at the venue two weeks ago. It was refused due to the venue’s proximity to schools. A Haringey Council spokesman said: “We do not consider that the proposed changes in this application amount to a development for which planning permission is needed.”

The 220 people who wrote to the council with opinions on the planning bid have been notified, as have the venue’s owners. “It is now a decision for them as to whether they wish to formally withdraw the application,” said a council spokesman. “The licensing committee has already reached a decision on a licensing application for this premises and we will monitor the situation very closely to make sure that the owners comply with the conditions imposed by the committee.

Crime claims at lap dancing club

October 2, 2009

Staff or management were involved in eight out of 10 recorded crimes at a Black Country lap dancing club – official documents show.

Police want to cut the opening hours of Angels Gentlemen’s Club, just off West Bromwich High Street, following a string of violent assaults.

A report going to Sandwell’s licensing panel next Tuesday shows 80 per cent of the offences have involved people working at the club. The licence is being reviewed on the grounds of crime and disorder.

Police logs show that, between 12 September 2008 and 29 June 2009, there were six incident logs and 10 crime reports there.

The report says: “Of the 10 crimes eight of them have involved either members of staff or management.”

Police want the premises to close at midnight, staff to be trained in the use of the CCTV system and recordings to be kept for 14 days, and people prevented from leaving the club with alcohol.

Lap dance club plan defeated

October 1, 2009
01 October 2009
JUBILANT campaigners were celebrating victory this week as plans to open a late-night lap dancing club in Crouch End were thrown out by the councillors.

After months of bitter opposition the Lap Off! group campaigners breathed a sign of relief as Haringey Council told Music Palace’s owners the venue could not host “table or lap dancing”, including topless or nude “table side dances”, in Tottenham Lane.

The historic decision came after a tense 90-minute wait as nine councillors on the licensing committee deliberated at the Civic Centre, Wood Gree, last Friday.

Carol Horne, 33, Lap Off! spokeswoman, who lives in Dickenson Road, Crouch End, said: “We were just so, so pleased that they stood up and did the right thing. It has been such a long campaign and we’re just really pleased and relieved it’s over.”

But Music Palace was granted extended opening hours from 11am-2am Monday to Saturday – two hours later than its previous midnight close time – and from 11am-11pm on Sunday.

Live music can be played to 11pm and recorded music to 1.30am.

Councillor Nilgun Canver, cabinet member for enforcement and safer communities, said: “As far as lap dancing is concerned, this decision will be welcomed by local residents.

“It would have been inappropriate to have this type of activity at a club so close to people’s home and a primary school.”

Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, who backed campaigners, said: “It’s been inspirational to see local residents come together and fight the proposal tooth and nail, and what a result we got in the end!

“This was simply the wrong place for a lap dancing club – and should the Music Palace come back with a new application, we’ll be prepared!”

Music Palace applicant, mum-of-three Serdal Ziya, refused to comment on any aspect of the case, including whether she would appeal.

Webcast available

October 1, 2009

If you wish to re-watch (or watch for the first time) the events of last friday – you can watch the Haringey webcast by going here

From Lynne Featherstone’s blog

September 27, 2009

Crouch End lap-dancing application rejected

Thank goodness! Councillors turned down the lap-dancing club application in Crouch End. It’s been a very long and hard fought campaign – so congratulations to Alison Lillystone and all of the local people who worked so hard to present such a brilliant case. My LibDem colleague Cllr Dave Winskill has been working with the campaign group every step of the way – and I have done whatever whenever I could to help.

The report says the applicants may go to the courts and appeal the decision – but I hope they don’t. The new laws coming into effect soon change the status of the license that lap-dancing clubs need. Currently they only need the same license as a club or pub – but under the new laws they are classified as ‘sex-encounter establishments’ and will need a different license – one in which the location plays an even stronger determinant than currently.

So – as they have lost at this point, the chances of them getting a license under the new laws are even less. And they may be considering trying to get in before the law change – but in the Commons I pushed the Minister to state quite clearly that even if they were to succeed and get a license now – they would still have to apply for a new license as soon as the laws come in.

In the end – this is about location. That has always been the point and the reason for upset for local people. This was just the wrong place.

A bit more info on last night

September 26, 2009

I concede that last night’s entry was not the most comprehensive I have ever put on the blog – here is a report from the Haringey Independent.

Crouch End lap dancing bid rejected

11:19pm Friday 25th September 2009

A BID for lap dancing and strip shows at a Crouch End club has been rejected by Haringey Council.

Music Palace failed in its bid for permission to turn the Tottenham Lane club into a lap dancing venue, offering £10 strip shows to businessmen.

The licensing committee this evening turned down the bid, saying it was not satisfied club bosses had addressed concerns over having a strip club in a residential area.

However, councillors granted it extended opening hours until 2am, and left the door open for Music Palace by saying it would consider further conditions if they were proposed.

A large cheer went out from the packed public gallery when the decision was announced, and Crouch End residents are leaving satisfied they have fought off the prospect of a lap dancing club near their homes.

And a great post from our facebook site

Carol Horne (London) wrote
at 12:02am
RESULT! A dramatic night’s action. The applicant made her case and then the objectors were able to ask questions. Myself, Paul, Adrian and Simon asked questions and legal were really tough on us, not allowing is to make any statements and objecting to mant of our questions. To be honest at this point I thought we’d lost it.

Then the committee asked the applicant questions. My husband Stewart spoke last to sum up all our case. The committee then went away and deliberated for a nail biting 90 minutes before returning. They denied the application to applause from the gallery, saying the evidence they had seen (especially around harm to children and crime) led them to deny the application. People called out “thank you chair” from the public gallery.

Well done to LAP OFF for campaigning non stop since March and thank you to the 2,200 people who signed our petition and came to the hearings. It is heartening to know that ordinary people can make a difference.