Lap-dancing club overturns city council’s ban in court

A Glasgow lap-dancing club has overturned the council’s decision to deny its application for a new licence.

The City of Glasgow Licensing Board turned down the Seventh Heaven strip club, and another city centre venue called Spearmint Rhino, last June.

And earlier this month Glasgow Sheriff Court threw out an attempt by the Spearmint Rhino club to overturn the council’s decision.


But now Sheriff Principal James Taylor has ruled in favour of Seventh Heaven, and overturned the licensing board’s decision on the club.

The city’s licensing board raised a number of objections against the venue last year and decided to turn down the club’s application.

The objections included concern about the club’s flyers which featured an “unsuitably clothed” dancer wearing yellow pants using her arm to cover her breasts.

But Sheriff Taylor dismissed the board’s concerns claiming that he could “see nothing wrong in the degree of breast exposed.”


He added: “To judge that the flyer in question is unsuitable for the purpose of promoting a lap-dancing nightclub and thus in breach of the policy code, is, in my opinion, wholly unreasonable.

“In short the licensing board’s judgement is absurd. No reasonable licensing board properly applying their mind to the flyer could come to the view that the female depicted was unsuitably clothed.”

Sheriff Taylor’s decision is likely to alarm opponents of lap-dancing venues who fear that the practice exploits vulnerable young women.


Last month it was revealed that plans which would have allowed Scottish councils to ban lap-dancing clubs had been put on hold following concerns that the proposals could catch theatre productions.

However, the Scottish Government supports the principle behind the plans and intends to introduce a more tightly worded amendment.

In February a former lap-dancer disclosed shocking secrets, shattering the myth that the practice “is no more than dancing”.


Milly, who started lap-dancing when she was 24 to fund her drug and alcohol habit, told The Times newspaper how girls younger than 18 are pushed to perform sexual acts on men in lap-dancing clubs in order to make money.

She said: “Whether individual women feel degraded by them or not, lap-dancing degrades all of us because it’s providing a socially acceptable place for women to be treated as sex objects.”

She also warned that men need to appreciate the negative impact which the industry is having on women.


She said: “The only way to really change things, if there is such a thing as an equal society, is if men learn to understand that paying for sexual stimulation is degrading and does have a negative impact. It’s not just a bit of fun.”

And in March an investigation by the Sun newspaper discovered that a 14-year-old schoolgirl had been performing naked in a lap-dancing club while her mother thought she was at a friend’s sleepover.

The investigation revealed that the girl, who was not been named, was allegedly dancing naked behind a screen and taking customers for private dances until 3am.

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