Calderdale councillors will decide if performers in sex establishments will be able to reveal all to customers.
Calderdale Council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee agreed that a condition be removed from the council’s new licensing policy stating performers: “must at all times wear a non-transparent g-string or similar piece of clothing on the appropriate part of the body and at no time reveal any part of their genitalia or anus” .
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Now councillors will decide to whether approve the recommendations at Full Council next Wednesday at Halifax Town Hall.
The request to change condition had been made during consultation over the new policy by La Salsa, a Halifax lap-dancing club.
Another request was made during the consultation from another respondent that “seductive images on the windows” should be allowed by amending a condition which states “there shall be no window display of licensed sex articles” was turned down and the restriction remains.
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The recommendations that will go before full council also ask to limit the number of sex establishments within the borough to one.
The policy changes also includes taking into account any development in the surrounding community when a licence came up for the annual renewal.
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As the sex establishment licensing policy was being developed, most of the debate time was spent on the controversial issue of non-transparent clothing where councillors had to balance the previous policy and expressions of concern with issues relating to businesses being able to operate on a level playing field.
In their letter to the council, written last May, La Salsa said visiting customers expected the same service as other towns including Leeds and Manchester where dancers were allowed to remove their g-string.
New dancers had to be re-trained if they came to work at the club, at Silver Street, they wrote.
“Every week we have to re-train the dancers with our policies and need to keep going into the dance floor in front of customers to warn the dancers to keep their g-strings on.
“This creates a lot of tension in the club and and creates a bad service to customers,” said the letter.
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The Council is establishing a policy of Licensing of Sex Establishments – which covers sex shops, and sex cinemas as well as lap-dancing clubs, all now classified as sex extablishments – as part of its overall licensing framework.
Consultation on the policy included all councillors, West Yorkshire Police, all parish councils, notices in all Calderdale’s local newspapers, both Members of Parliament, objectors to previous licence applications, current licence holders, the Children’s and Adults Safeguarding Team, the Community Safety Team, notices at Halifax Town Hall and Halifax Customer First and on-street surveys in Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Todmorden, Sowerby Bridge, Brighouse and Elland town centres.