Harrogate Feminists

We support the Leeds Reclaim The Night March
September 22, 2010, 7:38 pm
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We’d like to add our voices to the many organisations supporting the forthcoming Leeds Reclaim the Night March, which is planned for the 4th December.

Reclaim the Night is about asserting the right of women to feel free from fear of rape and sexual violence. The route has been especially designed to reclaim places where women feel vulnerable from attack – for example, near lap-dancing venues. Details are being posted on their website as soon as they are finalised. Currently there is a printable flyer – please print it off and spread the word! 


Date of next meeting
September 21, 2010, 5:48 pm
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We’ve settled on a date of Monday, 18th October for our next meeting – as before, at The Place bar in the Crown Hotel.

Last meeting

We really liked our new venue! It was quiet enough to talk easily (but not deserted), it had comfy chairs, and best of all they do hot food – very important for those of us coming straight from work!

Mostly we discussed how best to put our views to the council Licensing Committee for their SEV consultation. We carefully reviewed the council’s proposed (draft) SEV licensing policy; while their draft policy would clearly be a vast improvement on the current arrangements, we identified several ways in which it could be improved still further. Ideally, from our point of view, the maximum number of SEVs should be zero. But failing that, the licencing conditions should be much stricter.

Just when we were becoming dispirited about the extent to which the sex industry has pervaded everyday life, and wondering what just a few people could do to change things, Laura reminded us that sometimes, even just asking the right question at the right time might make a real difference. She gave the example of the time when she was talking on the phone to the helpful man from the Licensing Committee. She asked him whether an Equality Impact Assessment had been done as is required by law, and there was a significant pause…

Hopefully they’ve done one now!

Our next meeting will be on a Monday – date tbc.

Should we follow Oxford’s example on licensing of lap-dancing clubs?

As well as deciding whether to adopt the new legislation at all, Harrogate Borough Council is also seeking consultation on its draft licencing policy – this is one of the things we plan to discuss at our meeting next week.

The new SEV legislation has been already adopted by many other councils around the UK and we’ve been looking around for examples of SEV licensing policies they’ve come up with.

We were interested by Oxford City Council’s statement on their website:

Applications made for a Sexual Entertainment Venue Licence will not generally be deemed to be appropriate if the premises is near or in locations or areas containing any of the following:

(i)      Historic buildings or tourist attractions
(ii)     Schools, play areas, nurseries, children’s centres or similar premises
(iii)   Shopping complexes
(iv)   Residential areas
(v)    Places of Worship

You can see the full conditions set by Oxford City Council for their SEV licences here.

Next meeting – venue
September 8, 2010, 9:03 am
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We’ve decided that our next meeting on Thursday 16th September is going to be at The Place bar in the Crown Hotel, Harrogate.