Lap dancing clubs will need new ‘sex encounter’ licence

October 2009

Live event industry

The UK’s somewhat flawed Licensing Act will be revised by new government proposals that would man mean ll lap-dancing clubs will have to apply for a new licence. Lap dancers petitioned the Prime Minister against such a move last year. The Policing and Crime Bill establishes a new Sex Establishment Licence and all venues – including existing lap-dancing – will have to apply for a new licence. Local authorities will have the power to set a limit on the number of licences it grants. There will be a transitional period of 12 months for clubs to apply for a licence. Existing and new clubs can apply in the first six months  at the end of which local authorities will decide how many licences to grant. Local residents would be able to make representations against the granting of a sex establishment licence on the grounds that it is an inappropriate location or that the number in the area is already too great, extending the existing range of objections which are currently limited to the four objectives of the 2003 Licensing Act to sell alcohol – the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and protection of children from harm. Home Office minister Alan Campbell added: “These important reforms will give local authorities the powers they have called for to allow them to respond more effectively to the views of local people, who have become increasingly concerned about the number of lap dancing clubs being established in their communities” – although in light of this planned revision and the on going criticism of the over bureaucratic licensing process for the grass roots end of the live music industry I do wonder why the Act wasn’t thought about more carefully in the first place.

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