6 February 2020
Thorpe Hamlet Green Party councillors, representing residents in the Prince of Wales Road area, are proud to announce that strip clubs in Norwich are, at last, to be properly regulated, after what they believe have been years of delay and ineffective policy making.
Councillor Lesley Grahame said:
“Local residents have reported finding the area unsafe and unwelcoming. Some people have even considered it a no-go area, taking long diversions to avoid going through it. The council’s Licensing committee agreed in June to enforce a cap on sexual entertainment venues, but there are three clubs in an area considered unsuitable for more than two, so monitoring their performance will be important when deciding on licence applications, which have to be renewed each year.”
Current city council policy requires inspections of sexual entertainment venues 'no more than once a year', unless there are ‘exceptional circumstances’. Councillor Grahame has said this “is not only incapable of delivering the required information but would send a wrong message to businesses that nobody was watching them.”
The committee agreed to change the policy to allow more frequent inspections, with the authority now also reserving the right to conduct random spot checks from time to time as it sees fit.
Councillor Grahame added:
“Regulation works when businesses know that they can be inspected at any time, whether it's food hygiene, care quality or strip club safety. The #MeToo revelations did not emerge for 20 years, so the lack of formal complaints from club staff and users is hardly a guarantee that nothing is wrong in an industry with a high risk of exploitation and trafficking. I would like to thank my council colleagues for acting on this at last.”