Harrogate Feminists

SEV licensing campaign

Harrogate Borough Council met on 10th June 2010 to discuss adopting the new legislation which will reclassify lap-dancing clubs as sex entertainment venues and allow tighter controls on the number of lap-dancing clubs in the district and on how the clubs are run.

At this meeting councillors agreed to a 3-month consultation period to assess whether or not to adopt the new legislation.  The report can be viewed here.

We also wrote a letter to the Harrogate Advertiser, published on June 11th, highlighting the need for HBC to adopt this new legislation.

Please visit http://www.harrogate.gov.uk/harrogate-6333 to read the draft policy and guidance and then send an email or letter with your views to:

Harrogate Borough Council
Licensing Team
Springfield House
Kings Road
North Yorkshire

01423 556843


You can also collect signatures for a petition, for example using OBJECT’s template petition on their Take Action page.

We really liked this letter, reproduced here with the kind permission of the Chair of the Yorkshire Soroptimist International Anti-slavery subgroup, who sent us a copy:

The Chief Executive
Chief Executive’s Office
Council Offices
Crescent Gardens

22 August 2010

Dear Sir/Madam


Soroptimist International (SI) is a worldwide organization for women in management and professions, working to advance human rights for all and the status of women and girls. One of its main objectives is to end human trafficking and all forms of violence against women and girls.

Violence against women and girls includes selling them as sex workers. Sexual entertainment venues such as lap dancing and striptease clubs seek to sell the services of vulnerable women and girls, many of whom are trafficked into and within the UK specifically for sexual exploitation. Sexual entertainment venues also nurture and perpetuate the sexist view amongst men and women that it is acceptable to treat women and girls as sex objects and not as people. Sexism is illegal, contravening the right to freedom from
discrimination. And while ever sexual entertainment venues are condoned by local authorities, including Harrogate Borough Council, by licensing them under the Licensing Act 2003 in the same way as a cafe or pub, women and girls will continue to remain victims of the sex industry and men their unnoticed and socially-accepted perpetrators.

In addition, the areas around sexual entertainment venues, such as those licensed by HBC, are intimidating places for many women, girls and men. The anti-social behaviour of clients can be threatening and menacing, compromising the right of passers-by to peaceful enjoyment of their neighbourhood and freedom from degrading treatment.

All public authorities, including local authorities, must pay proper attention to their citizens’ rights when making decisions. SI Yorkshire Anti-slavery sub-group therefore urges Harrogate Borough Council to adopt
the new licensing regime as provided in the Police and Crime Act 2009, thereby:

  • allowing the Council to apply vital controls and conditions on clubs that are granted a licence or which apply to have their licences renewed, and
  • giving its communities a voice in decision-making about the number and location of sexual entertainment venues in their area.

I look forward to hearing how HBC intends to take this matter forward.

Thank you in anticipation and with kind regards,
Val Michie

Chair, SI Yorkshire Anti-slavery sub group


1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

SEV Licensing Compliance Service is specifically designed to help said astablishments attain the necessary licence and to ensure that all the compulsory conditions and obligations are adhered to throughout the licensing period.
If you would like some advice or help with your concerns, please dont hesitate to contact us.

Comment by Stuart Inglis

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