Sex clubs hit out over new licence charges

VENUES that offer sexual entertainment in Sheffield are set to be hit by new charges under new council regulations.

Under Sheffield Council’s new sexual entertainment venues licensing policy, such clubs will soon be faced with licence charges of £1,335 and renewal fees of £1,000, plus a host of tough new conditions.

Marie Calvert, who runs the La Chambre swingers’ club in Attercliffe, described the move as a “stealth tax”.

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Other venues are complaining about different aspects of the policy, which is set to be approved at a meeting on Thursday.

Julian Skeens, lawyer for lapdancing club Spearmint Rhino, criticised a clause allowing advertising only within 440 yards of a venue. He said: “This would appear to be a severe restraint on trade.”

And Scores lapdancing bar said conditions such as a requirement to have a register containing staff personal details “appear to propagate an untrue image of the industry as a criminal and dishonest business”.

Sheffield Council said the new fees were a Government requirement and would only cover “reasonable costs.”