Council seeks residents’ views on Sex Entertainment Venue Licences
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is asking residents for their views on how it licenses sexual entertainment venues, such as strip clubs and sex shops.
Licensing officers have drafted a new Sex Entertainment Venue policy and are now asking residents and businesses to take part in an online questionnaire - which is live until 5pm on Sunday 15 July – to identify areas for improvement or modification and to ensure it is the right way forward for Southend.
As the licensing authority, the Council has reviewed and modernised the policy to ensure it is appropriate to the modern-day needs and requirements of the town, and also promotes community safety.
Some of the key changes to the policy include:
• Clearer detail on the legislation taken into account when determining an application (section 7)
• Information on licensing requirements and definitions of matters within the Act (8)
• New sections on general principles (9) and making an application (12). These include details of the Licensing Authority’s expectations of an applicant.
• A new proposal to limit the number of licences permitted within the borough (10.1)
• Detail of what will be taken into account when deciding an application, including the character of the local area (10.2), the use of premises in the area (10.3), and the layout, character and condition of the premises (10.4)
• A clear direction to applicants on the effect of failing to renew a licence in a timely manner (17)
• Revised conditions, split into type of premises applied for, rather than the previous ‘general conditions’, which would normally be added to a licence upon it being granted (appendix to the policy)
Cllr Mark Flewitt, Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “Local Councils are responsible for giving licences, permits and other approvals throughout the Borough, and with this in mind, we must ensure any changes to our sexual entertainment licensing policy are appropriate to the town and support community safety.
“This is a great opportunity for residents to have their say and we are hopeful of a large response to this.”
The proposed policy and questionnaire can be found on our Consultation Portal.