Borough Council of Wellingborough

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Greater control of sexual entertainment venues

Published Monday, 14 March 2011

Lap dancing clubs will be on the agenda for Wellingborough councillors at a meeting on 21 March.

Members of the community committee will discuss adopting new government legislation regarding the control and licensing of sexual entertainment venues.

At the moment, these venues are regulated under the Licensing Act 2003 and licence applications are submitted in the same way as a pub or a restaurant. The only mandatory conditions that apply under this act relate to the sale of alcohol and objections can only be raised under one of the four licensing objectives - prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance, and protection of children from harm.

The act has now been altered to include sexual entertainment venues - defined as premises where 'relevant entertainment', such as 'any live performance or any live display of nudity reasonably assumed to be provided for the purpose of sexually stimulating the audience' is provided for the financial gain of the organiser or the entertainer - and these venues will now need a sex establishment licence.

Wellingborough Council's community committee are expected to adopt the legislation, which would give the authority better control of these venues. Local people will be able to oppose an application for a sex establishment licence if they are concerned the venue would be inappropriate to a particular area, and the council will be able to set limits on the number of sexual entertainment venues in the borough. The licences would also need to be renewed annually, at which point local people would have another opportunity to raise objections.

Councillor Malcolm Waters, chairman of the community committee said: "We welcome this new licensing regime and the powers it will give the council. It gives us the chance to tackle issues that we know are of concern to local people and it also gives residents more of a voice about what they want, and don't want, in their communities."

If adopted, the new rules will come into force on 1 May 2011.