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Hull MP bids to unleash people power against strip clubs

Hull North MP Diana Johnson is bidding to give local people more power to stop or restrict the spread of lap dancing clubs in their communities.

The Labour MP’s Sex Establishments (Regulation) Bill will be heard in the House of Commons under the Ten Minute Rule next Tuesday (28 January).

The amendment to the current law that Diana Johnson MP is proposing would require local authorities to consult with their communities about having a specific licensing policy for sexual entertainment venues; and, having taken account of local views, set a limit – which could be zero - on the number of such venues that are allowed to open in the local authority area.

The current law allows councils to undertake such local consultation, but does not require it.

Diana Johnson MP said: “My Bill seeks to empower local people to curb the proliferation of lap dancing strip clubs and to require proper community consultation to give citizens more say in stopping these clubs, limiting their number and ensuring that they are kept away from the least appropriate locations – such as residential areas, schools or churches.

“Lap dancing clubs have become an increasing feature on high streets in many towns and cities over the past 20 years, more recently joined by the similarly proliferating pay day lenders and gambling dens with fixed odds betting terminals.

“As well as specific concerns about the links between these sex entertainment establishments and human trafficking, there is widespread evidence that they can contribute negatively to the general character of local areas and detract from the quality of life for residents, especially if they open in residential neighbourhoods.

“I’m not seeking to impose some draconian new ban from Whitehall on an activity that is legal. I merely want local people and their elected councillors to have more power to resist the spread of these establishments in their areas, and for current best practice in local government to become universal.”

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