Friday, August 8, 2008

Equal Access to Services

I note from a recent issue of Local Government FIRST magazine ("Close Lap Dance Loophole - LGA", Issue 377) some concern at a change in licensing legislation around the regulation of lap dancing clubs.

It seems lap dancing clubs can now be licensed using the same guidelines as karaoke bars and cafes, rather than using the legislation covering the sex trade. Worryingly, the number of lap dancing clubs has doubled in the last four years alone.

It reminded me of a story I heard a while ago, about a massage parlour which began trading overnight from a private property in a residential road. Neighbours protested vigorously, and the business - which had not applied for planning permission - was asked to lodge a retrospective request for planning consent with their local Liberal Democrat controlled council.

At the subsequent planning hearing, the application was debated in depth and the Liberal Democrats won the day - allowing the massage parlour to remain, on one condition - that they put in a disabled ramp from the street.

Good to know that our Liberal Democrat colleagues are fighting for equal access to services...

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