At our Business Meeting on Sunday February 3rd a concern was brought that another lap-dancing club was being proposed, quite near to our Meeting house, at the city centre end of West Street. We were united in our feelin gthat we should oppose this, and even though the cut-off date for objections had passed, our clerks wrote a letter of objection and individual Friends were encouraged to do so too. This would have been the third of such clubs in the centre and the closest to the heart of the city.
The final decision was made at a council meeting on Monday 25th February. A demo was held outside the Town Hall and despite bitterly cold wet weather, there was a good showing of protesters chanting and waving banners: “Keep our streets safe!” and “Women not Sex Objects”. There were four speakers, including one on behalf of Quakers, pointing out how long we have worshipped in that part of the city, that we are not against fun, music and dancing (as Quakers were, right at the beginning) and highlighting the importance of EQUALITY. Another speaker, from the domestic abuse forum, described the club as the thin end of the wedge, with the opposite end being horrific violence against women.
The planning committee voted against the proposal, with one councillor voting iin favour and 2 abstentions.