#Local Government
Bexley Council
United Kingdom

Local councils can now license lap dancing clubs as part of the sex industry rather than as 'leisure venues'. This is a 2-step process. Councils must first adopt the new license policy and then need to decide how to apply it.

Bexley adopted the policy in June 2010 but has not decided how to apply it. At a meeting on 29 March 2011 which took only ten minutes they deferred the decision to set standards for such clubs. But they did not defer the decision to set a licence fee of £8995. This is an over 60% reduction in the previous fee of £22573.

This would make Bexley one of the cheapest boroughs in London to set up a Sex Shop or Lap Dancing Club. This is not the image the residents of Bexley would want. It’s 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 have rights under the SEV licensing regime including setting a maximum number of SEV licences that will be granted in a particular area. That maximum number can be zero.

This petition demands that in Bexley, and especially the wards I represent - Belvedere, Erith, Lesnes Abbey, North Heath and Thamesmead East - the maximum number of clubs will be set at zero.

Teresa Pearce MP

We, the undersigned, call on Bexley to introduce a ‘nil’ policy of licensing Sexual Entertainment Venues, as permitted under Schedule 3 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (LGMPA)1982 and amended by Section 27 of the Policing and Crime Act (PCA) 2009.

Lap dancing clubs are counter to Bexley’s legal obligations to promote gender equality. They promote sexist stereotypes and create ‘no go’ areas for women. They have no place our community.

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The 'No' to lap dancing clubs in Bexley petition to Bexley Council was written by Teresa Pearce and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.