Hackney Council bans strip clubs and sex shops

Councillors agree to amended ‘nil’ policy despite residents’ opposition

Hackney councillors tonight (Wed) agreed to ban future strip clubs and sex shops from the borough, despite opposition from workers and residents.

All but two councillors in attendance at the town hall voted for an amended ‘nil’ licensing policy on sex entertainment establishments.

More than 66 per cent of people who took part in the council’s own consultation on the plans said ‘no’ to the ‘nil’ policy.

The decision means that strip clubs, sex shops and sex cinemas will be outlawed from all of Hackney’s wards with the exception of “well-run, longstanding” establishments, after the licensing committee amended the proposals.

Hackney currently has four strip clubs – Ye Olde Axe and Browns in Hackney Road and Rainbow Sports Bar and The White Horse in Shoreditch High Street – along with sex shop Expectations in Great Eastern Street, all of which are in Haggerston ward.

Hackney Central ward councillor Vincent Stopps welcomed the policy.

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He said: “I’m really happy to support this. Because of it, I’m going to get a lot less grief about strip clubs and bars opening in my ward so thank you very much.”

Cllr Geoff Taylor of Victoria ward, who was joined only by Cllr Angus Mulready-Jones in voting against the policy, said: “I still do not believe that a nil policy will protect the freedom and safety of women.

“Without the resources to police the nil policy, there’s a risk it will simply drive the businesses underground.”

Clubs owners, dancers and DJs have hit out at the policy.

Jennifer Richardson, a pole dancer a Browns, said: “I’m disgusted but not surprised.

“I think most of them had already made up their minds.”