Tower Hamlets plan to implement tougher measures for sex clubs was rejected by the Council’s licensing committee last Tuesday.
Despite unanimously being approved by cabinet members last month, the licensing committee voted to reject the move due to lack of information on how the proposed policy would be implemented.
Gareth Hughes, barrister for law firm Jeffrey Green Russell that represents several of the clubs said: “There’s quite a [big] majority of the public opposing the implementation of the policy and this is clear from the consultation results.
“It’s a very good result as the plan started off with concern from the public, and it’s been going on for several years.”
Tower Hamlets Council previously ran a consultation process regarding the policy, which took place for 6 weeks from March 18 to April 29, this year.
The consultation received 4973 responses with only 108 in favour of adopting and a staggering 4865 against adopting the policy.
In a document on the Tower Hamlets Council’s website regarding the proposal, the Council stated that is has reason to believe that the results could have been coordinated by some of the sexual entertainment venues after discovering 1400 forms being returned from a single sexual entertainment premise.
Hughes explained that unlike most of the other councils in England and Wales that have adopted the 1982 act, which allows for more power to local authorities, Tower Hamlets Council has not adopted the law. This limits the power that the Council has in deciding rules for the sex clubs.
The 11 clubs in the borough would have been subjected to a £9000 annual license-renewing fee if the proposal went through.
Tower Hamlets Council said in a statement: “The cabinet agreed adoption of the ‘nil’ policy for new sexual entertainment venues (SEVs) in a meeting on 11 September.
“However as the Licensing Committee has not adopted the legal framework there is no way of enforcing the ‘nil’ policy, which in effect means there is no change to the way SEVs are currently licensed in Tower Hamlets.”