Dancers from Hackney’s four lap dancing clubs along with club workers such as bouncers, DJ’s and bar workers marched to the town hall on Mare Street yesterday, to protest Hackneys proposal of a ‘nil’ policy on adult entertainment venues and shops in the borough. They say amongst their many concerns, are the approximately 400 people who will be out of work if the proposal goes through.
Recently Hackney council invited residents, to have their say about a ‘nil’ policy being proposed for adult entertainment in Hackney. It means no more licences will be granted nor will existing ones be renewed, when they come up for renewal.
Hackney council have decided adult entertainment venues, do not “fit with the character of Hackneys town centres and neighbourhoods.”
Yesterdays march was on the heel of a meeting held in Stoke Newington on Wednesday, when Hackney’s Trade Union Council (TUC) passed a unanimous motion to take a public position against the Councils ‘nil’ proposal towards the licensing of adult entertainment establishments.
The TUC members agreed that a ban could drive such venues underground, which could put the dancers at risk. A statement echoed by the Reverend Paul Turp, Vicar of St. Leonard’s Church in Shoreditch, were all five of Hackneys adult venues are based. He has criticised Hackney Council for attempting to “impose a moral code” on it’s residents.
A recent study showed that Hackney lap dance venues enjoy a reputation of being well run and highly regulated, something many of the dancers agree with. The study was carried out by Dr Kate Hardy from Leeds University, under the supervision of the highly influential Dr Teela Sanders who has extensive knowledge of the sex industry and has authored several papers and written books on the matter.
Of the four lap dancing clubs in Hackney two of them are female owned and ran. The White Horse on Shoreditch High Street is owned by mother & daughter Pauline & Sue Bristow, and Browns on Hackney Road is ran by Denise Chandlier.
So far Cllr Carole Williams (Hoxton) has indicated she may oppose it.
The consultation end on January 13, 2011.
Photo of protesters courtesy of YD Images