The Christian Institute

News Release

Mega sex shop blocked

Cardiff City Council has refused to give a licence for the Cardiff International Arena (CIA) to be used as a sex shop. A touring indoor sex market, Xsensual 2000, plans to hold a three-day event at the CIA. The event needed a sex shop licence to sell R18 videos and other sex items.

After carefully considering their decision the Licensing Committee of the Council made clear that the CIA was not an appropriate venue for a sex shop. A church, a large toy shop and a school are all in the area of the Arena. The council felt this, and other factors, were clear grounds for refusing a licence.

Before the Institute got involved the council had received only five objections. After the Institute launched a campaign contacting its supporters and churches in the Cardiff area this rose to a record-breaking 450 objections. This was more objections than the council had ever received for any licence on any subject.

The Christian Institute addressed the Committee for 20 minutes, outlining people’s concerns. The Institute spoke on behalf of many people from Wales. Speaking today deputy director of The Christian Institute, Simon Calvert, welcomed the decision.

He said: “We are delighted that the council has made a sound legal decision not to turn the Arena into a 5,000 square foot sex shop. It is clearly not an appropriate venue. Over 450 people wrote to object to the granting of a sex shop licence.

“They did not want a family venue like the Cardiff Arena to be used as a sex shop. The committee chamber was packed with objectors. The Council’s decision was received with cheers and applause.

“However, lap dancing and stripping may still go ahead using a separate entertainment licence. But because we have raised the issue of the Sunday Observance Act, there will be no lap dancing on the Sunday of the event. And now, thanks to the refusal to grant a sex shop licence, there will be no R18 videos and sado-masochist paraphernalia for sale.

“This is a victory for common sense. Many people – not just Christians – believe this event is a step too far. They do not want to see a premier venue of their capital city being used to sell hard-core porn.”