7 September 2018
Green Party councillors are disappointed that the city council has still not taken steps to limit the number of sex establishments, including lap-dancing clubs in Norwich. Greens had hoped that the city council’s Licensing Committee would agree to consult on a policy to control the numbers of sex shops, sex cinemas and sexual entertainment venues in the city centre, but the committee, chaired by Labour councillor, Hugo Malik, has once again procrastinated and deferred making a decision to consult the public on this issue.
Green councillors have been calling for a cap on the number of sexual entertainment venues in the city for a number of years.
Councillor David Raby, who attended the meeting, said:
“'There needs to be a cap on the number of sexual entertainment venues in the city. While we cannot eliminate them, they encourage demeaning attitudes towards women and may well be related to the proliferation of prostitution in neighbouring areas. It is also essential to ensure that regulations applying to these venues are properly enforced. The city council says it is committed to equality for all residents of Norwich and lap-dancing clubs can undermine that.”
Councillor Raby suggests that the Committee, which is also only now about to update its Gambling Policy, some five years overdue, should be renamed the Procrastination Committee.
The majority of sexual entertainment venues in the city are currently in the Late Night Activity Zone around Prince of Wales Road. The proposal Greens had hoped would be consulted on recommends that the number of venues in this area remains the same.
Councillor Jo Henderson, whose Thorpe Hamlet ward includes the Prince of Wales Road area said:
“Many local residents feel unsafe walking along Prince of Wales Road at night. I’ve heard from some people who stay in and others who take longer, more isolated, routes instead. Everyone deserves to feel safe near their own homes and capping sex establishments will help.”