Teresa has launched a petition to stop more lap dancing clubs opening in Bexley as a result of the Council’s decision to slash the cost of their licences by more than half. This would make Bexley one of the cheapest places to have a lap dance club in London.
In June 2010 Bexley Council adopted the new policy to licence lap dancing clubs as part of the sex industry rather than ‘leisure venues’. At a ten-minute meeting on 29 March this year, they decided to defer the decision to set standards for the clubs, but they did take the time to slash the licence fee by over 60% from £22,573 to £8,995. This will make Bexley one of the cheapest places to get a licence for a lap dance club. In Greenwich the fee is £20,360 and Hammersmith and Fulham Council recently put theirs up to around £16,000.
“The image of Bexley as one of the cheapest places to open a lap dancing club is one that residents will not be happy about. I’m worried that by setting the cheap fees, Bexley is encouraging these clubs to set up in local areas. It’s also not right that whilst cuts are being made to services across the borough a massive fee cut is being agreed for people who profit from the Sex Industry.”
Under the new legislation lap dancing clubs require a Sexual Entertainment Venue (SEV) licence in order to operate. Bexley Council can set a maximum number of SEV licences that will be granted in a particular area. That maximum number can be zero.
To stop Bexley becoming a magnet for lap dancing clubs, Teresa has launched a petition demanding that in the wards she represents – Belvedere, Erith, Lesnes Abbey, North Heath and Thamesmead East – the maximum number of lap dance clubs will be set at zero.
“Lap dancing clubs fuel a sexist culture in which it is acceptable to treat women as sex objects, not people, and areas surrounding the clubs can become ‘no-go’ areas for women. So it’s time for Bexley to use its new powers and take action. They need to introduce a ‘zero’ policy on Sexual Entertainment Venue licences to ensure our community stays a lap dancing club-free zone. I have already written to the Council’s Licensing Committee and will be collecting the signatures of local residents to petition the Council on their behalf.”
To add you name to Teresa’s petition ‘No’ to lap dancing clubs in Bexley’ click here
Read more in the Bexley Times