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Resident to crowd fund legal action over council policy on strip clubs

A local resident is trying to raise £5,000 through crowdfunding to challenge Sheffield City Council’s new policy on licensing sex entertainment venues, shops and cinemas.

Irene Gladdison has so far raised £4,160. She said on her page: “My council has just decided there should be no limit on strip club numbers and I need to make them re-think this decision because of the devastating impact these clubs have on attitudes to women and girls.”

Ms Gladdison hopes to argue in court that Sheffield has breached the Equality Act by failing to take account of the impact of these establishments on women.

She aded: “I refuse to be cowed by the city council and allow them to OK the sexual objectification of our girls.”

Sheffield consulted on a new policy in late 2016 and campaigners say its original proposals after this would have been more restrictive.

But after further consultation, the licensing committee last November adopted a policy that allows establishments to be licensed based on the applicant’s suitability, numbers, location, conditions and enforcement.

A report proposing the policy stated: “We are proud of Sheffield’s reputation as a safe and vibrant city, which at present includes the provision of licensed sex shops and sexual entertainment venues.”

It said the policy showed the council’s commitment to protect the safety of patrons, staff and performers and to ensure high management standards.

The council did not respond to a request for comment on the crowdfunding campaign’s claims.

Mark Smulian

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