Tower Hamlets Councillor Rania Khan and
Hamlets are asking for support in stopping lap dancing and strip clubs operating locally. C.A.P.E Tower
The Council is currently consulting on a new policy which would allow it to revoke the licences of all Sex Encounter Establishments, including Strip Clubs and lap dancing Clubs.
The recent Policing and Crime Act allows concerned parties to speak out on the issue. Lap-dancing clubs are now licensed as Sexual Entertainment Venues (SEVs), which means that local residents and workers have a greater say, and Tower Hamlets can apply greater restrictions and controls to these clubs, and even apply zero tolerance.
If this policy were to be enacted it would be the first borough in
to have a nil policy towards sexual entertainment, where even existing establishments would lose their licences. London
Residents and people who work in Tower Hamlets have found it difficult to object to the nuisance of lap-dancing venues in the community.
Councillor Khan said: “I have been involved in the feminist movement and campaigned on this issue for a long time. In 2007, following residents concerns, we led a campaign with Object which led to the national government change on the legislation. We are now in a position to make use of this new legislation.
“It is crucial to state that we can only implement this policy if we get a favourable response from respondents to the consultation. We are obviously up against unscrupulous large businesses who will try to ensure the maximum amount of pro-sex encounter establishments answer the consultation. We have to make sure we also mobilise people who feel strongly about this issue.”
There are 11 Lap-Dancing clubs in Tower Hamlets that are accused of fostering a sexist culture in which it is deemed acceptable to treat women as sex objects, not people, and areas surrounding these venues can become 'no-go' areas for women, children and students. Lap-dancing clubs may also
fuel anti-social behaviour and unacceptable levels of noise.
Many operate during the daytime, and into the night, near to homes and residences, nurseries, schools, universities, playgrounds, parks, art galleries and places of worship. Most are therefore located in totally inappropriate areas.
A public meeting is taking place on September 8th, 6pm at the London Muslim Centre,
46-92 Whitechapel Road London E1 1JX.
Invited speakers will include Lutfur Rahman, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs from the London Assembly, Shaikh Abdul Qayyum from the East London Mosque, the Reverend Alan Green, Councillor Rania Khan, LibDem Councillor Stephanie Eaton, The OBJECT group and The East London Communities Association (TELCO).
Councillor Khan and the organisers are extremely keen to publicise the event and encourage community involvement.
The consultation is only open for six weeks and residents and employees of the borough are being encouraged to participate and contribute by visiting http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=14754.