Cornwall policy consultation database sex establishment policy – 28 July to 20 October 2010



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CORNWALL POLICY CONSULTATION DATABASE SEX ESTABLISHMENT POLICY – 28 July to 20 October 2010




CONSULTATION RESPONSES RECEIVED WHICH ARE RELEVANT TO THE POLICY AND/OR STANDARD CONDITIONS

RESPONSE DETAILS

DATE RECIEVED

CONSULTATION RESPONSE

COMMENTS

PROPOSED CHANGE TO POLICY

POLICY AMENDED




AGREED BY MLC 10/11/10


General Comments

Licensing Team Managers




Have included a sheet for delegated authority. There has been no consultation response submitted on this matter, however, it is good practice in line with other policies to address such issues and have them as an appendix to the policy document.

Amendments detailed in the report to the Miscellaneous Licensing Committee 10/11/10:



Amendments that have already been made to the draft policy

General typographical errors have been corrected.*


Document status page updated.
Introduction – addition of paragraphs 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8 & 1.9
2.2 New item number 2.2 inserted. This relates to the Committee’s ability to deviate from the Policy. The original item number 2.2 has been renumbered as item 2.3.
4.2 Changed the words “stand in adopting” to “stance through adoption of”.*
7.1 New item number 7.1 inserted. This relates to the separate requirement to obtain planning permission and recommendation that this is achieved before applying for a licence.
7.5 As requested by the Miscellaneous Licensing Committee at the meeting on 16 July 2010, a requirement has been added as new item number 7.6 for an applicant to submit House Rules in respect of Sexual Entertainment Venues. *
N.B. The items within Section 7 have been renumbered in accordance with the above 2 amendments.
8.7 Item amended in relation to the Procedure for the Conduct of Sex Establishment Licensing Hearings. This is following legal advice received as part of a recent application determined by the Committee, which has been received since drafting the policy – new Appendix E, the Procedure, inserted.
9.6 New item number 9.6 inserted. This relates to the target determination date which is required to be set in accordance with the EU Services Directive. Item numbers 9.5 – 9.10 have been renumbered as 9.6 – 9.11.
9.10 Heading “Length of Licence” amended to “Duration of Licence”.
11.2 Numerical Limits – The table to be completed if any Numerical Limits are set has been moved to an Appendix – New Appendix F inserted.
11.3 Definition of “Operation of CCTV to the Council’s satisfaction” included. The Committee was advised at the meeting in July that officers needed to include appropriate information in relation to this section.*
11.12 New item number 11.12 inserted. This relates to a definition for adequate non-public changing rooms for performers. Item numbers 11.12 – 11.13 have been renumbered as 11.13 – 11.14.


    1. Updated to advise list of consultees available on the Council’s website (link to page provided).

17.1 Equality Act 2010 added to the list of Information.


Appendix A – Form of Notice of Application. This has been amended to include sexual entertainment venues and incorporate matters where approval is needed under the standard conditions of licence, i.e. proposed licensed name and hours of operation.

*Amendments made to draft policy prior to consultation.

Amendments that have already been made to the draft Standard Conditions
Sexual Entertainment Venue Conditions:
As a result of the Miscellaneous Licensing Committee requesting a requirement to submit House Rules in respect of Sexual Entertainment Venues a new condition 17 was added which requires House Rules to be signed and also a duty to ensure compliance with the House Rules.*
Original condition numbers 17 – 58 renumbered 18 – 59 due to insertion of new condition number 17.*
New condition number 52 (previously 51) the order of the list was amended original number 4 became item number 2, and the word “anus” added as inadvertently omitted.*
New Condition 25 inserted regarding separate changing rooms for performers. Pervious conditions number 35 – 59 renumbered 26 – 60.

*Amendments made to draft policy prior to consultation.




Appendix G added for approval.

YES

YES

Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service (34)




As the legislation dealing with the licensing of sex establishments has been amended to say that no condition may be prescribed in so far as it relates to any matter in relation to which requirements or prohibitions are or could be imposed by or under Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in respect of the premises, vessel or stall, we are unable to comment on fire safety in the form of conditions.  The premises will be regulated directly through the RR (FS) O 2005.The fire service is committed to safety within the community and will work with partner agencies in achieving this common goal. The policy provides clarity with regard to the Fire service role as the enforcing agency of the RR(FS)O 2005 in this type of premises.

Noted.

None

N/A

YES

Mrs C – Truro (142)

21 Oct 2010

I shall also be glad if you would clarify the duties of the Licensing Committee – Miscellaneous Licensing Committee – the Development Control Planning Committee i.e. change of the use of premises – who decides and controls the opening hours and issues a licence to sell alcohol. It would be helpful if you were able to set out the chain of events by the applicant and the Cornwall Council in the event that an application was made for a Lap Dancing venue. At the moment no one seems to understand the system why some applications require planning permission and others do not.

This is outside the scope of this policy. This policy can only address the issues in relation to the process for applying for a sex establishment licence and no other form of permission or licence. The Committee has requested that Licensing Services refer the enquiry to planning for a response.

None

N/A

YES

Miss P – Bodmin (122)

08 Oct 2010

Generally – Overlapping responsibilities of the Miscellaneous Committee & the Licensing Act Committee, concern Newquay. What can be done? The street pastor said the worst of the violence, people being sick and ill, begins at 4am. Can the opening hours of the night clubs & sex establishments be reduced? Could everything close by 2am, or, better still in my personal view & for the benefit to health & wellbeing of both revellers & residents, 12 Midnight? What can be done? (Understand Truro at night is not much better).

Noted. Each application must be considered on its own merits, and hours applied for may be granted or amended. These comments relate more to Licensing Act 2003 issues and do not relate to this policy.

None

N/A

YES

Cornwall Councillor – Moresk Ward, Truro (118)

19 Oct 2010

I am writing in response to your request for comments about sex establishments in Cornwall. I attended one of your recent meetings at Lys Kernow where I listened intently to the discourse. I think I was struck most forcefully by one comment which, as I understood the description, emanated from a worker in a Newquay ‘pole dancing’ club. She said that, whilst it is perfectly proper for people who disapprove of such establishments to voice their views and to be heard, it is equally important for those who issue licenses to consider the welfare of those who work in such establishments.

I think that this is a profoundly important concern and I wish to be reassured that Cornwall Council will, in any circumstances, consider either refusing or withdrawing a license if there is evidence of mistreatment, ignorance or abuse of the moral welfare of workers, or conditions which breach standards of behavior commensurate with dignity and equality.


I also listened intently to the group of women who described themselves as mothers of young children placed in the situation of having to walk with their children to and from school, and to shops and leisure facilities, past sex establishments. One of them drew attention to the problem of trying to explain why an obviously commercial, entertainment premises was completely un-signed – because, in being thus, it stood out and sparked curiosity, not least in their children.
In the recent hearings about a sex shop in Truro there were exchanges about visible displays in windows and behind doors. Undertakings were given but nothing was said about signage, or about inferred metaphor in titles, design or graphics of signage or advertisement. I think that this is a most important area which should excite the interest and regulation of the Licensing Committee. Again, I seek assurance that such matters will be regulated in the interests of ensuring that children, vulnerable people and those who do not wish their experience to be affected by such premises, practices or ideas, or who may find their religious principles compromised whilst enjoying public spaces and facilities.
I consider that town centres, malls, seafronts and places in proximity to public facilities and amenities are places which are, and should be, enjoyed by a wide variety of people. They should be as risk free as possible both in physical and emotional terms, to ensure that all are equally able to quietly enjoy and to appreciate. I consider that it is central to the Licensing Committee’s function that it should consider the environment in which premises for which licenses are sought for sex establishments, and that it should consistently and clearly safeguard public spaces and places, including principal streets, concourses, squares and parks. Siting of such premises, if they are to be enabled at all, should be discreet.

[next three paragraphs of letter have been recorded under section 11.2 below]


Lastly, may I say that whilst the officers present at the consultation exercise I attended gave clear, concise and pragmatic answers to questions, and were both respectful and attentive to those who participated, I am bound to agree with the lady who complained that the positioning, attitude and demeanour of the committee members was, as she put it, ‘intimidating’. I’m sure this was not intended to be the effect but I hope that, in future, both Licensing and other departments carrying out such exercises, will consider how spatial planning can encourage participation effectively.

Proposed conditions already address safeguarding of staff. If conditions are breached appropriate enforcement measures will be taken.
Proposed conditions already address issues regarding signage of premises, including lettering, displays and advertisements (28 (iv), 29, 30(a)).
The licensed name is also addressed (28(i).)

The location of premises is considered as part of the determination of a licence application the policy addresses such issues at sections 9 & 11.



None

N/A




Truro City Council – (113)

20 Oct 2010

In conclusion of the letter from Truro City Council it states :-

Conclusion

1. Truro City Council welcomes consultation on all applications concerning Sex Establishments whether it be applications, waivers or renewals.

2. We look for a change in the present rules in respect of Application hearings which will actually give the applicants and the objectors “equal opportunity” to state their case.

3. We look to stricter inspection rules which will give the general public the assurance that the licence conditions are being adhered to.



1. Legislation defines who must be consulted. However the council will provide information regarding Sex Establishment Licence applications on its website. There will be no individual consultation with any party by the Licensing Authority.

2. Case law & legislation restricts objectors addressing the Committee. However discretion has been built into the hearing procedure for such applications for the Chair to allow objectors to speak on relevant matters. The Committee and the applicant are not permitted to ask questions of the objectors. The Hearing Procedure is now contained within the policy as Appendix A.

3. Inspection of Licensed premises is carried out on a risk based regime and appropriate inspection schedules will be maintained.


None

N/A

YES

Penryn Town Council (8)

21 Sept 2010

I trust that my Councillors would have limited knowledge and experience of such premises, consequently Council’s views are restricted to comments on location, parking and access, opening hours, external advertising and signing, and any aspect that might impact negatively on the community.

Council’s expectations are that a significant majority of the residents would not wish to see any sex establishments in Penryn at all, but should any proposal be put forward, Council will leave the control and monitoring of activities within the premises to the Licensing Authority.

It is assumed that relevant Planning Applications would be required in which the above mentioned aspects would be addressed. Council would only consider any sex establishment located away from the Town Centre, but not in a residential area. The building should be discreet with on-site parking and good vehicular access. Opening hours should be fixed to avoid disruptive night-time noise and traffic. External advertising and signing shall be limited to the premises only with limits on sizes and numbers of signs and wording of signs being subject to the approval of the Licensing Authority.

The use of terms such as taste or appropriateness are very subjective in these times of changing values and it seems that Penryn would be an unlikely location.

However, should proposals come forward and the necessary consents, approvals and licences are granted it is of paramount importance that the operation is adequately monitored and policed.


Noted

None

N/A

YES

Stithians Parish Council (30)

28 Sept 2010

The policy is 45 pages of complicated provisions and requirements to regulate sex establishments, albeit not brothels.

The policy states that the Council takes no moral stance in regard to these enterprises.

The fact that Cornwall Council has opted to regulate activities that were previously not regulated somewhat contradicts the statement that these establishments are not commonly sources of crime or disorder. This begs the question of why they need regulating? No justification for regulating is given that could be discerned.


There was no provision to regulate Sexual Entertainment Venues prior to the introduction of the Policing and Crime Act 2009; therefore the Council had no jurisdiction to regulate such premises. Central Government prescribes matter which must or may be regulated. This authority has extended its original powers of regulation to include this class of premises. Clearly it would be remiss in it’s duties to allow the licensable activities of such premises to go unregulated.

None

N/A

YES

Stithians Parish Council (30)

28 Sept 2010

To reduce the number of comments in the response, some editing and clarifying of the document has been carried out within the document itself which revisions are shown highlighted. This is basically making the English more comprehensible and saying what appears to be the intention. Refer to highlighted copy of draft policy. The table of comments (these have been inserted in this spreadsheet as appropriate); it is long and refers back to the policy document. No apology is made for its length as the content and presentation of the policy require significant enquiry and refinement.

Noted. Some suggested amendments agreed, some not.

Appropriate typographical errors amended.

Yes

YES

Cornwall Feminist Network (103)

10 Oct 2010

GENDER EQUALITY

We strongly recommend that you explicitly include ‘the promotion of gender equality’ as a specific objective for Sex Establishment licensing in your licensing policy.

The Gender Equality Duty 2007 legally requires local authorities to promote equality between women and men in all that they do.  The Gender Equality Duty is particularly relevant in relation to the licensing of sex establishments because of the gendered nature of sex establishments like lap dancing clubs, and because of the negative impact that lap dancing clubs have on efforts to promote equality between women and men. The negative implications of lap dancing clubs on women are outlined below:

Lap dancing clubs normalise the sexual objectification of women in contradiction to efforts to promote equality between women and men.

The links between objectification, discrimination and violence against women are recognised at the international level by the legally binding United Nations Convention to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which has repeatedly called on states – including the British Government - to take action against the objectification of women. Similarly the UK-based End Violence Against Women coalition has called on the UK Government to tackle the sexualisation of women and girls because it provides a ‘conducive context’ for violence against women.

Lap dancing clubs promote ‘sex-object’ culture – the mainstreaming of the sex and porn industries.

The growth of lap dancing clubs has fed into what OBJECT terms ‘sex-object’ culture – the mainstreaming of the sex and porn industries and the ever increasing sexual objectification of women and girls. With lax licensing laws leading to the number of lap dancing clubs doubling over the last five years, and a PR makeover branding lap dancing as glamorous and ‘harmless fun’, we have found ourselves in a situation in which major retailers sell pole dancing kits along with pink frilly garters and paper money in their ‘toys and games section’, and leisure centres offer pole dancing lessons to girls as young as twelve. This has led to 25% of teenage girls seeing being a lap dancer as their ideal profession.

Lap dancing clubs are a part of the sex industry and as such are linked with wider systems of prostitution

Research shows that the structural conditions of lap dancing clubs, where women compete with one another for private dances, lead to some dancers offering sexual services to survive financially , a climate in which, according to an ex-lap dancer: ‘No touching, not exposing your genitals, not allowing men to touch you is the exception rather than the rule’

Even if a club enforces a no touching rule and there is no sexual contact between dancer and customer, research further shows that strip clubs increase demand for nearby prostitution services. This places lap dancing on a continuum of commercial sexual activity, irrespective of whether this sexual exchange occurs within the club itself.

Lap dancing clubs have a negative impact on women’s safety in the local vicinity

Research undertaken in the London Borough of Camden found a fifty percent increase in sexual assaults in the borough after the rapid expansion of lap dancing clubs. Personal testimony from women who have written to OBJECT reinforces the idea of a link between the proliferation of lap dancing clubs and increased levels of sexual harassment for women in the vicinity:  

‘On separate occasions, I have had men say to me “How much for a dance love? I’ll give you £20 to get yours out,”... they seem to always think that because they can pay to degrade and abuse women inside the club that I am no different’  

The UK Royal Institute of Town Planning has further drawn attention to concerns regarding the impact of lap dancing clubs on women in the local areas: ‘Evidence shows that in certain locations, lap dancing and exotic dancing clubs make women feel threatened or uncomfortable’

Lap dancing clubs have a negative impact on women’s safety in wider society

Lap dancing clubs normalise the representation of women as being always sexually available and this is worrying in light of widespread public opinion that women are in some way responsible for sexual assaults perpetrated against them. The links between the expansion of lap dancing clubs and an increase in the levels of sexual violence have been raised by organisations who work with victims and perpetrators of gender-based violence. For example, as Chair of Rape Crisis Nicole Westmarland reported that lap dancing clubs ‘both support and are a consequence of sexual violence in society’.

This view is reiterated by the Director of the White Ribbon Campaign, an organisation which works with men to end violence against women: ‘Any expansion of lap dancing clubs feeds an increase in the lack of respect for women. We work for an age when all men understand the implications of their support for these clubs, and they all choose not to attend them’

Furthermore, in response to research it commissioned into the impact of lap dancing clubs on the city, Glasgow City Council stated:

Images of women and ‘entertainment’ which demean and degrade women portraying them as sexual objects plays a part in “normalising” sexual violence and contributes to male abuse of women being acceptable, tolerated, condoned and excused. Such entertainment runs counter to explicit commitments by a range of private, public and voluntary agencies to promoting women’s equality.”

In relation to police rape statistics in Newquay, at the recent Divas hearing, the lap-dancing club’s management made spurious claims that the lap-dancing clubs are keeping rape statistics down. As Philip Kolvin QC the barrister acting for Cornwall Council portrayed, statistics can be interpreted in numerous ways. His interpretation of the statistics produced were, that in the first 5 years of the millennium in Newquay there were 34 rapes; in the second 5 years of the millennium there were 86 rapes. This, Philip Kolvin stated was a 250% increase and was a ‘shameful record for Newquay.’ Cornwall has the one of the lowest conviction rates in the county for rape and stands at just 5.2%.

CFN call on the council to adopt a nil policy in relation to SEVs for the reasons given above. However, if you do not adopt a nil policy and SEVs are to be granted and/or renewed, we would very much appreciate being consulted regarding conditions. The conditions currently in the draft policy we believe will be subject to legal challenge.

We further request that you monitor the impact of the ‘frequency exemption’ which was included within the SEV licensing regime.



This is outside the legislative requirement in relation to consideration of applications for Sex Establishments. The Authority’s duty is to ensure that any policy adopted considers gender equality; therefore the Policy and standard conditions have been subject to an Equality Impact Assessment, which will be available for viewing on the Council’s website in due course.
The policy and standard conditions do not favour one gender over another and the standard conditions in relation to Sexual Entertainment Venues have been subject to amendment to ensure that separate changing facilities for each gender performing is available.

Legislation defines who must be consulted. However the council will provide information regarding Sex Establishment Licence applications on its website. There will be no individual consultation with any party by the Licensing Authority.


With regard to “the frequency exemption” any premises using this will have to have relevant authorisation via the Licensing Act 2003 and if the premises is subject to a premises licence then they must also have indicated that adult entertainment will take place. If no such indication has been made then entertainment of an adult nature is not permitted.

All other comments noted.



None


N/A

YES



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