Oxford’s only lapdancing club has been stripped of its licence after Oxford City Council decided to ‘give weight’ to a local woman who complained of rude comments and a ‘hostile environment..
Oxford City Council revealed the licence had not been renewed with immediate effect. The application for a licence renewal was refused after a meeting of the city’s licensing and registration sub committee.
Committee chairman Van Coulter said:
There are very select grounds on which you can make a refusal, but one of which is if there has been a change in the vicinity.
We heard that the existence of the club has given rise to problems in the area. There was one lady, for example, who gave testimony about comments made to her, which I am too much of a gentleman to repeat. We have evidence that the existence of the club has created a hostile atmosphere, and we decided to give weight to that.
The renewal application received 23 letters of support, mostly from staff and the owners, and 20 objections.
club owner Al Thompson, who said 50 girls worked from the club, vowed to fight the decision all the way, claiming it was based on hearsay. He said:
They granted us a licence a year ago, and now they’ve suddenly decided to change their minds, leaving a lot of people out of a job and wrecking a perfectly viable business.
The police had no one at the meeting because they didn’t have any issue with it. The council has based it all on hearsay.
We’ve got a QC and our legal team working out the best way for us to come back at this, but we will take it as far as it needs to go, and that includes the High Court.