Lap dancing in Crouch End

Met on Saturday with the local campaigners from Crouch End who are motivated to take up arms against the application for a ‘gentlemen’s club’ (i.e. lap dancing) at the Music Palace – and after listening to them I don’t blame them.

As a liberal I don’t knee-jerk against the varying tastes and occupations of folk – unless they do harm to others. On this one I have to agree that the potential for harm, nuisance, noise and detrimental impact is high. Plonking such an establishment in a local buzzing busy high street means that it is not ‘out of the way’, it can’t be avoided and women, young girls and children will have to pass it – no choice. Whether or not is is true that men will emerge in a roused state – who knows – but if they do then that could have potential for danger and even if they don’t – women feel vulnerable in the near vicinity.

As to specific worries – well in the immediate area we have Hornsey School for Girls, Action for Kids (charity for vulnerable young people with learning disabilities), Rokesly Junior and Infants School and the YMCA. But even without these particularly vulnerable groups – there are issues for anyone made uncomfortable or concerned or even frightened to walk past. People shouldn’t have to feel intimidated or worried on their own high street.

There is a Bill (am finding out the details) on the licensing of lap-dancing clubs about to go through Parliament where it is widely rumoured that instead of only requiring a normal license – same as clubs and pubs – lap dancing clubs will become for the first time ‘sex encounter establishments’ which would require a different sort of license – same as the sex industry places. I expect that is why there is a shifty on to get licensed before the change in the law – so as the local MP I will be seeking to make any changes in the Bill retrospective too.

The campaigners want me to try and ensure there is a grandfather clause – so that it is not only new lap dancing clubs in the future that have to be licensed for sexual encounter – but that those already in existence (as this one will be if it gets its license) will have to apply for the new type of license which is much stricter on a number of fronts.

So – anyone interested in joining the campaign should contact me, stating you give me permission for me to pass on your name and email address to Alison Lillystone, who is leading the campaign group.

0 thoughts on “Lap dancing in Crouch End

  1. I’d always be suspicious of people trying to ban such establishments.There is a trend for this sort of thing right now, such a the ridiculous suggestion we should criminalise those who pay for sex.To argue the case for this, some New Labour politicans have used completely made up statistics about how many prostitutes are controlled etc. I woudln’t be suprised if invented stas were used in this area too.I’m not particularly in favour of such places, if anything it’s the customers being exploited in them rather than those performing. That said, i don’t view them as especially harmful, or certianly not relative to other problems we face.I’d suggest a good proportion of city center pubs and nightclubs cause far more trouble to the police and far more noise, danger and intimidation for the WHOLE of the local community, not to mention significant violence. We should tackle the worst of these establishments as the immediate priority rather than trying to close something down that might offend people’s feelings.

  2. The reason people do not want this ‘establishment’is not because they don’t think lap dance clubs should be allowed. Its not about offending people’s feelings either. Its because they don’t think its right to set one up right in front of a young girl’s school, smack bang in the middle of a residential, leafy part of north london swarming with young families with kids. As you can gather NOBODY in Crouch End wants this to happen. Its like building a bacon factory in the middle of Stamford Hill.If you really want a lap dance go into the city. You’ll have more fun there anyway.

  3. When I was 18 years old a male work colleague decided to play a practical joke on me. He arranged to meet with me for lunch at a local pub that I was not familiar with. When I didn’t see him outside, I went in looking for him. I found myself in a place filled with drunk, sweating and leering men, some of whom made lewd comments and touched me inappropriately as I tried to make my way through the pub. When I got to the far end, I saw two women, naked save for their underpants gyrating over a pole and each other. I got out of there as fast as I could feeling shocked and frightened. I was rendered speechless and unable to defend myself because I was outnumbered, because I’d never encountered anything like this before, because it came as a complete surprise, because I was subjected to these men’s overwhelming sense of entitlement about my body and in that environment and about women’s bodies generally.This pub was situated next to a council housing estate on a main road leading into the centre of town. There was a newsagents, a knitting shop and a grocer’s nearby.My colleague’s response? He laughed heartily at his ‘little’ joke. I spent years having a recurring fantasy after that incident where I would burn down the pub and slowly poison my work colleague’s coffee cups with drops of bleach. Of course, I’ve never really acted on these fantasies – it’s only a harmless fantasy, just a joke, right?. I really admire women and I do marvel at our collective restraint.