Hackney Council decides on strip club and sex shop ban

‘Nil’ licensing policy goes before full council this evening

Hackney councillors will decide this evening (Wednesday) whether to ban sex entertainment venues from the borough.

The town hall’s amended proposals for a ‘nil’ licensing policy on strip clubs, sex shops and sex cinemas will go before full council after the licensing committee gave it the go-ahead despite opposition from residents.

The results of the town hall’s consultation, which ran from September 20 to December 13 last year, showed that 66 per cent of those that took part were against a ‘nil’ licensing policy on strip clubs in Hackney.

The committee’s zero tolerance recommendations now allow the five existing sex establishments in Shoreditch to remain.

A clause added to the plans consulted on says that the council will make an exception to “well-run and long-standing” sex establishments in Haggerston ward – referring to strip clubs Ye Olde Axe, Browns, Rainbow Sports Bar, and The White Horse and sex shop Expectations, which had all feared closure.

But dancers, club owners, and trade unionists remain resolute against the proposals.

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Suzanna Slack, a former erotic dancer and members of the GMB branch of the International Union of Sex Workers, said: “We may not overcome, but those of us who are campaigning are a force to be reckoned with and will insist that councillors pay attention to the people of Hackney and the pride that people have in Hackney and it’s heritage.”

Human rights group OBJECT has backed the proposals.