#Gender Rights and Issues
Sunderland City Council
United Kingdom

Lap dancing clubs are part of the sex industry and fuel a sexist culture in which it is increasingly acceptable to treat women as sex objects, not people. This has been recognised by the UN Convention on Eliminating All Forms of Discrimination Against Women since 1979 as having clear links to discrimination and violence against women. Areas surrounding lap dancing clubs can become ‘no-go’ areas for women, with many women and girls reporting that they feel unsafe in the vicinity of such venues, and research reveals that individuals performing in the clubs face exploitative working conditions.

However, until now they have been subject to the same licensing regulations as other entertainment establishments (e.g. cafes and restaurants). This has meant that local authorities have been prevented from considering these issues when deliberating license applications from lap dancing clubs, and have been unable to stipulate conditions and controls - such as the maximum number of lap dancing clubs permitted in our community or whether private booths are permitted in the clubs. This is in contradiction of the council’s legal obligation to to consider the impact of their decisions on women and men and to promote gender equality in all they do.

However, as of 6th April 2010, local authorities have been granted new powers and can now license lap dancing clubs as ‘Sexual Entertainment Venues’ under Schedule 3 to the LGMPA 1982, as amended by the Policing and Crime Act 2009. This allows local authorities to license lap dancing clubs in the same way as sex shops and sex cinemas – i.e. to apply relevant and necessary controls.

We, the undersigned, urge Sunderland City Council to adopt Schedule 3 to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (LGMPA) 1982, as amended by the Policing and Crime Act 2009.

This resolution would grant Sunderland City Council greater powers to regulate lap dancing clubs, and would give local people a greater say in the licensing process.

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The Reform Sunderland's Lap Dancing Laws petition to Sunderland City Council was written by Laura Brewis and is in the category Gender Rights and Issues at GoPetition.