Selfridges is fighting plans to open a strip club directly opposite its new entrance. The department store has objected to an application for a club in Duke Street.
Electshow Ltd, which ran lap dancing venue the Mayfair Club in Dover Street, has
applied to Westminster council to turn the existing Blush club into a gentleman's bar offering full nudity, striptease and pole-dancing between 9pm and 6am Monday to Saturday. The Mayfair Club closed in December when the lease ran out.
At a meeting
last week, Selfridges QC told Westminster's licensing committee that a strip club has no place here. He argued:
Selfridges needs no introduction. It is an iconic retail store, one of the anchor retail stores of the West
End of London and acts as a magnet for visitors.
My clients have spent five years and £300million on a redevelopment of the Duke Street facade to transform it from the rather modest services side of the building to a fine piece of
architecture in its own right.
This proposal for a lap dancing club is entirely inimical to the character of this area. It has no place here... This is not [an application] for a corner store. It's a 6am sexual entertainment venue
licence and nightclub in a highly sensitive location. It has attracted a large amount of objections.
Westminster council is expected to publish its decision this week.
Westminster Council has shut down the Windmill table dancing club after an anonymous feminist group hired private detectives to snitch on no touch rules being broken for private dnances.
The club has 21 days to appeal.
The Windmill is a
relic of the area's colourful past as it was previously the venue hosted a long running erotic show.
The Sun visited The Windmill this week to find its glory days are long gone. Low lighting hides stained carpets and scuffed leather seats. On
the stage, Eastern European dancers swayed moodily to music. The Sun noted that a private dance costs £40, and a bottle of Becks beer £8.
Offsite Comment: putting women out of work is about the most un-feminist thing
I've been dancing in strip clubs since 2006, and I query the method and motives behind campaigns to shut down clubs. Closing down a venue may feel like a victory to those who champion the abolition of the industry, but taking work away from women
relying on it is tantamount to taking food from our mouths. Thousands of girls who otherwise have less value in the wider job market (foreign nationals, single mums, anyone with any sort of disadvantaged background) are turning to stripping and other
forms of sex work to survive. According to the English Collective of Prostitutes, record numbers have moved into the sex industry under austerity, which disproportionately affects women, particularly single mothers. In fact, putting women out of work is
about the most un-feminist thing possible.
The move against
Windmill Club came after a women's rights group complained the club was breaching conditions banning physical contact between dancers and clients.
The group had hired former police officers to collect evidence and one of them described how a
dancer rubbed herself up and down on him and touched him intimately. He also said the dancer paid the security guard 2£10 to look the other way.
The Soho Society said it was concerned women working for the Windmill may end up in a working
environment where they are even more vulnerable than they are at present.
A flagship London West End lap dancing club is in trouble with the local council for offering a little too much fun.
Platinum Lace at Trocadero just off Leicester Square boasts on its website of entertaining the likes of Pixie Lott, Professor Green,
Snoop Dogg, David Haye and a host of Premier League footballers.
It hit the headlines earlier this year after a video emerged of two of its dancers encouraging customers to fondle them. And this week, the miserable bosses at Westminster City
Council have announced a course of action.
The Council will put questions about their enforcement action in a public consultation and have now confirmed the venue had its licence temporarily extended ahead of the results of the
consultation. When the public have had their say, the council's licensing committee will re-visit the application and decided whether consultation to close the club down or not.
An undercover investigation into practices at the club revealed a
number of the dancers openly breaking the council regulations, including two dancers called Mindy and Carla , who were covertly filmed allowing customers to grope them in VIP booths. Further footage, shot in December, shows a blonde dancer
called Mindy also placing a customer's hands all over her body at the London venue.
A team of officers from Westminster City Council reviewed video evidence and spoke with club bosses after the evidence surfaced earlier this year.
Supporters of an East End gay pub are battling to stop it being included in a hit-list of sex entertainment establishments the council wants to close down.
Around 750 people have signed a petition to exempt the White Swan in Commercial Road
from Tower Hamlets Council's plans to ban any venue from offering lap-dancing, pole-dancing or sex shows.
Campaigners, who first presented the petition in November, now accuse town hall chiefs of ignoring their concerns as they have had no
response despite being told they should receive one within 28 days.
The White Swan's popular Wednesday nights sometimes feature male strippers but the campaign group is arguing there are no advertisements that could offend passersby and no prostitution or sexual activity of any kind
Daryl Stafford, leading the campaign, said:
If we live in a truly multi-cultural society where people truly respect the lifestyles of others this simply would not happen. The venue has run its comedy male
amateur strip night for 26 years without a single complaint.
And with a touch of 'I'm alright Jack', he added:
The legislation was
originally set up to stop women being exploited and coerced into the sex trade... But there are no women involved in this. It's a men only night and stripping is voluntary."
Jack Gilbert, of LGBT group Rainbow Hamlets, said:
If they are making an argument that something is a social nuisance or has a history of causing anti-social behaviour and exploitation then the White Swan does not meet any of these criteria at all.
A council spokesprat said:
There was a record number of responses to the consultation and it was clear that residents felt strongly about the matter. No decision has been made in relation to which premises would be deemed to be sex
And with a particularly inept piece of politically correct confused thinking, Conservative group leader at Tower Hamlets, Peter Golds told BBC London:
I, like most reasonably minded
people, have concerns about scantily clad women being exploited ....BUT... consenting adults looking for a laugh, a joke and comedy is not exploitation.
The City of London Corporation is proposing to ban all venues from staging lap dancing from September, claiming that it has a damaging impact on women.
Charlie's Bar near Tower Hill, the only remaining club in the City to offer lap dancing, is
expected to be affected.
Under new legislation, such venues can be forced by councils to apply for a licence to continue operating. Charlie's Bar, which is thought to offer lap dancing for two hours once a week, would almost certainly be refused a
licence if the Corporation's ban is confirmed by its policy resource committee.
Edward Lord, chairman of the licensing committee which recommended the ban, said there was a widely held view that this kind of normally male-only social activity
serves to exclude women who work in financial services firms, or worse still makes them feel harassed and under-valued .
City workers said those who visited such venues would simply go to neighbouring areas, such as Westminster, where there is
Alex Smith from Southend, said: The new rules are a good thing but a lot of men won't think so : My niece is a dancer, she is treated well and they do get choices of what they do, but I don't agree with it.
A bid to host striptease and naked lap dancing in Wood Green was vetoed by Haringey Council supposedly because of the proposed club's proximity to schools.
The owner of Bar N22 in the High Road was told he could not offer adult entertainment,
after just two objectors voiced fears it would harm the community.
Susan Garrad, a mum and playgroup volunteer of Noel Park, listed schools, churches and community groups near to the venue and said: I contend people will know what's going on
and parents will then have to explain something they might not want to deal with until a child is older, or will have to lie to their children.
The licensing committee made the dubious ruling under relaxed licensing laws at Haringey Council's
Civic Centre - opposite Bar N22, formerly known as Charlie Browns.
Varinder Kaur, service manager at a sheltered housing scheme, next door to Bar N22, said the plan would negatively impact on the home's 22 elderly residents. She ludicrously
claimed: They're old, they're vulnerable, they will be isolated and living inside and there is a danger their grandchildren and children will not be visiting them. That is going to have an effect on their well being and health and safety, so we are
Nutters win against lap dancing in West Kensington
Nutters who fought a long-running battle against plans for a lapdancing club are celebrating after the owners withdrew a legal challenge.
Residents near The Crescent bar in West Kensington were dismayed when owner, Passion Nights, applied to turn
part of the venue into a strip club, ludicrously fearing kerb crawlers and prostitutes would be drawn to the area.
An appeal was launched at West London Magistrates' Court after councillors threw out the plans in November - but was finally
withdrawn this week in the face of wide spread opposition.
Nutter leader Joe Carlebach said: Our concern was that a lap dancing club would bring more crime, especially with sex workers and kerb crawlers. It's also right next door to a library
where my children go, and I don't want to have to explain to my four-year-old daughter what a lap dancing club is and why people are hanging around..
Ealing, Acton and Shepherd's Bush MP Andy Slaughter, who has been fighting alongside the
residents, said: I am delighted by this outcome. I have put a lot of effort into the campaign - asking questions to the Home Secretary, petitioning locally, holding a public meeting and giving evidence at the licensing panel. But the
main credit must go to the thousands of individual protesters and the organising committee of residents. This is a textbook case of how to fight and beat commercial interests intent on destroying a local neighbourhood for private gain.
A venue that sparked nutter 'outrage' by offering pole dancing six years ago is now bidding to launch lap dancing in Wood Green.
The plan could see lap dancing at the former Charlie Browns nightclub in High Road, Wood Green. The venue now called
Grand Palace and Bar N22.
Nutter organisations predictably 'fear' the proposal could bring trouble to the area.
Raj Doshi, chairman of I Can Care - a drop-in centre for elderly residents based in nearby Woodside House, said: It may
bring in a lot of ugliness. To me a dance is a dance, but if it brings in other stuff - drugs, prostitution, the shadowy characters, for all these reasons I would prefer, if I had a tick box, not to have it.
Shilpa Desai, vice-chairwoman of I
Can Care aid: I don't know how that's going to work because as it is they're scared to go out at certain times. I think this part of Haringey, there are lots of families with young kids, there is a council estate which has got a lot of young people
and I don't think this is going to help them.
Woodside ward councillor George Meehan (Labour) said: We would prefer that it isn't successful. The last time people weren't very happy, so I can't see that they'll suddenly become happy. Wood
Green shouldn't be any different to Crouch End or Tottenham, therefore we wouldn't expect anyone to be any more welcoming. I assume they will make their views known quite forcefully.
Residents can comment on the Grand Palace/Bar N22
application until Tuesday, April 14, by contacting Haringey Council licensing team on 020 8489 8232, or email@example.com.