We are delighted to report that the Leader of Portsmouth City Council has contacted us following yesterday’s news reports and our letter to the Cabinet to reassure us that the nil cap on SEVs will not be overturned.
Cllr Vernon-Jackson said:
“I’m sorry that there has been a misunderstanding of this. In the budget we have to look not only at cuts but also where more income may come from. My understanding is that there are currently 3 SEVs in Portsmouth but our past budgets had assumed money from just 2. In the budget that was passed yesterday we just adjusted the figures to expect a fee to come from 3 – as is now the case. This meant we could avoid other cuts but there is no expectation of any more SEVs in Portsmouth.”
We’re very glad to hear it.
We’ve written back to the Leader for a bit more clarity on the current status of lap dancing clubs in the city and how future licensing will equate to a saving of £8000.
In addition we’ve asked the Leader if he can clarify a couple of issues we noticed yesterday while preparing our letter to the Cabinet:
- The minutes from the Council meeting last October on the future licensing of lap-dancing clubs is missing from the Council’s website and we’d like to know why, and when we can expect them to be published for the public record
- We’d also like to know the current status of the Draft SEV Licensing Policy for the city, which according to the website currently remains in draft, and when this might be officially formalised
We’ll keep you informed as soon as we hear, but in the meantime, it’s worth remembering that our statement to Cllrs yesterday remains true:
“…let’s be clear as to why Aurora New Dawn is in favour of the nil cap.
We work, every day, with the end result of socially entrenched sexism, namely the victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
In the national and international women’s sector of which we are part, there is no doubt that the sexual objectification of women – as practiced in both page 3 and lapdancing clubs – is directly linked to the incidence of sexual and domestic violence.
This is not a matter of opinion or conjecture.
The link between the objectification of women and discrimination and violence towards women is recognised at an international level by the legally binding United Nations Convention to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which has repeatedly called upon states – including the UK – to take action against the objectification of women.
We believe that one day, the world will look back on the routine custom of objectifying and commodifying women as a bizarre and fundamentally inhumane practice – just as we currently look back at the slave trade or the practice of sending children up chimneys.”
We hope that day is getting closer and we hope that Portsmouth City Council continues to work towards a society where no one – man, woman or child – can be bought and sold as a commodity.