Sheffield Heeley MP and shadow minister Louise Haigh has written to the city council urging them to refuse strip club Spearmint Rhino’s latest application to renew their entertainment licence.
This comes as Sheffield City Council is in the midst of a public consultation into its rules on ‘sex establishments’, and a year after Spearmint Rhino’s licence was last renewed, despite controversy and over 70 objections.
Ms Haigh, a Labour frontbencher, cited the the Public Sector Equality Duty in calling for the council to reject the licence application, and also claimed that the strip club was not appropriate for the area, especially given plans for a ‘Tech Hub’ on Brown Street, which is where Spearmint Rhino Sheffield currently is.
She wrote: “Clearly a lapdancing club is not congruent with this vision and I am concerned about the implications for Sheffield’s national and international reputation in terms of the digital economy when we have visitors to the intended Tech Hub.”
Ms Haigh is the shadow minister for digital economy.
Plans for a second city centre strip club, which was to be called ‘Villa Mercedes’, fell through last year following strong local opposition.
Sheffield City Council do not comment on individual cases. However, regarding the wider re-evaluation of the rules governing “sex establishments”, Councillor Bryan Lodge, cabinet member for the environment said they are currently reviewing the policy in order to unify the rules for sex shops, strip clubs, and sex cinemas.
He continued: “Initially, the licensing service carried out a series of pre-consultation workshops where officers gathered the views of a range of groups and organisations, including schools, religious establishments, equality groups, elected members and any objectors to previous licences.
“Following these workshops, a new policy was drafted and released for an eight-week consultation. We received more than 50 responses to the consultation and have considered them all carefully before deciding on any changes to the policy.”
The public consultation on the city’s rules for strip clubs and sex shops will run until March 31 here.