Women's Design Service backs call to restrict sitings for lap dance clubs: they can create 'no go' areas for women, it claims

The Government has signalled that it plans to change the rules surrounding lap-dancing clubs to make it easier for local communities to object to proposals.

A large number of MPs have signed a Commons Early Day Motion calling for action and Durham MP Roberta Blackman-Woods has introduced a 10-minute rule Bill to tighten up the licensing of 'sex-encounter establishments'.

The Women's Design Service is currently backing a campaign by the Fawcett Society to have lapdance clubs licensed as Sex Encounter Establishments. This would allow local authorities to introduce conditions and restrictions through the planning system, and local people would get to say whether or not they wanted such clubs in their areas. Currently lapdance clubs only require a Premises License – just like any ordinary pub or karaoke night.

What’s the problem?

o        Lapdance clubs are a part of the commercial sex industry and normalise the sexual objectification of women.

o        Research has found that areas around these clubs can become ‘no-go’ areas for women..

o       The 2003 Licensing Act conflicts with the Gender Equality Duty, which requires local authorities to promote gender equality in all they do.

o       The 2003 Act denies local authorities the right to apply conditions and restrictions on lapdance clubs, including decisions in relation to the number of clubs allowed in one area, the presence of ‘private booths’ in the clubs, and the required distance between performers and customers.


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