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News - 2 May 2008
David Lepper, MP

David Lepper backs campaign to curb lap-dancing clubs

David Lepper, Brighton Pavilion Labour and Co-operative MP, is one of six main sponsors of an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons calling for local councils like Brighton and Hove city council to have more control over the setting up of lap dancing clubs.

The EDM was put down last week by Labour MP Lynda Waltho with the backing of MPs David Lepper, Julie Morgan, Lynne Jones. Roberta Blackman-Wood and Clare Short.

In just seven days it has got the backing of 29 more MPs.

David says, “Many of us have been concerned about the increase in lap dancing clubs in the city in the last year. Although the council has tried to restrict this, the magistrates have in at least one case overruled the council. I believe this is an unintended loophole in the Licensing Act that should be closed.

“I welcome the fact that last year the outgoing Labour administration set aside finance in the budget for a local private Bill in Parliament should that be necessary. I hope that now the government will act without the need for that.

“In a recent debate in Parliament I made the point that these clubs should be treated in the same way as what are known as ‘sex encounter establishments’ such as sex shops and sex cinemas rather than places of entertainment.

“Last week I backed the campaign launched by Object calling for changes in the law.”

The EDM state: 'That this House supports extending across England and Wales powers currently only held by London local authorities to license sex encounter establishments; supports removing a provision from the Licensing Act 2003 which has the effect of exempting lap dancing clubs from this licensing category; notes that lap dancing clubs are part of the commercial sex industry yet are currently licensed in the same way as cafes and karaoke; further notes that amending legislation would give local authorities the same licensing powers for lap dancing clubs as apply to sex shops and sex cinemas; and believes that this would be a crucial step in giving local people a better say in licensing policy.'

Read related items on:
Retail, pubs, clubs and restaurants
Government, Central
Lepper, David

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