By Marc Rath / email@example.com
MORE than 160 objections have been made to four lap-dancing clubs in Bristol which have been forced to apply for new operating licences.
The clubs have been ordered to apply for a new type of licence which gives residents more of a chance to object to them trading.
Temptations, in Old Market, Urban Tiger, in Broad Quay, Central Chambers, in St Stephen’s Street, and Lounge@30, in Clare Street, have all put in licensing applications to Bristol City Council to become “sex entertainment venues” under new legislation.
Until the new law, lap-dancing clubs and strip clubs were only required to have for a normal premises licence.
Objections could previously only be made under one of four categories: prevention of crime and disorder, prevention of public nuisance, public safety and the protection of children from harm.
This meant issues like the suitability of the venue to the area could not be given much consideration.
Under the new powers, lap-dancing clubs come under the same law that covers sex shops or adult cinemas, allowing greater controls.
Under the new policy, the city council can impose stricter conditions on lap dancing clubs, including restrictions on advertising, opening hours, and the activities which take place inside the clubs.
In other areas of the country, including Oxford and Leamington Spa, applications submitted by existing lap-dancing clubs have been refused.
Sian Norris, spokeswoman for the Bristol Feminist Network, said the group had been providing people with information about the new legislation to allow them to make informed comments about the new applications.
She said: “Personally, I would like to see them shut down because lap-dancing clubs are incredibly sexist and treat women like objects. I don’t believe they empower women or men.”
A spokeswoman for Bristol City Council said about 40 objections had been made against each of the four applications. The deadline for comments on the applications submitted by Central Chambers and Urban Tiger has now passed but comments are being accepted on the applications from Temptations and Lounge@30 until ThursdayAug 25.