When the ET vis­ited An­gels

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - NEWS - By Joel Lamy joel.lamy@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTJoelLamy

email enquiries@shawscoaches.co.uk

City coun­cil­lors look­ing to close down a lap-danc­ing club ad­mit they are pow­er­less to stop its li­cence be­ing re­newed. Com­plaints about An­gels in Brook Street, North­min­ster, were made in a lengthy email ex­change be­tween mem­bers on Peter­bor­ough City Council, with many hop­ing to see its li­cence to op­er­ate ex­pire.

How­ever, coun­cil­lors from sev­eral par­ties were left dis­ap­pointed af­ter it quickly be­came ap­par­ent that the council has lit­tle choice but to ex­tend the li­cence.

Cllr Irene Walsh, the Con­ser­va­tive cabi­net mem­ber for com­mu­ni­ties, said: “There are ab­so­lutely no grounds for this li­cence to be taken away from them, so there’s ab­so­lutely no point for­mally op­pos­ing it. We all have to ac­cept they are op­er­at­ing within the law.

“As far as my per­sonal view is con­cerned I think it’s rather de­mean­ing for the fe­male sex to be por­trayed that way. I think girls do­ing this are poor role mod­els for women.

“At­theend­ofthe­daythere’s no coun­cil­lor that would dis­agree that the li­cence can’t go on be­cause of what the law is at the mo­ment, but what we re­ally need to be pro­mot­ing are images of suc­cess­ful young women and achiev­ers in this city as our role mod­els.”

Cllr Matthew Ma­habadi, Labour and Co-op­er­a­tive mem­ber for Raven­sthorpe, be­gan the email ex­change by stat­ing: “The con­tin­ued pres­ence of such venues of sex­ual en­ter­tain­ment in our city sus­tain a cul­ture that en­cour­ages women to be seen as ob­jects of ex­ploita­tion.”

He later added: “It’s been made very clear to me (and I re­spect the ad­vice of of­fi­cers in this mat­ter) that there’s noth­ing legally any coun­cil­lor can do to stop the li­cence be­ing re­newed if their ob­jec­tion is only on a ‘moral’ ba­sis.

“This is­sue clearly gar­nered cross party sup­port. Cer­tainly if the op­por­tu­nity arises to block ap­pli­ca­tions for fur­ther ad­di­tional sex­ual en­ter­tain­ment venues I will def­i­nitely be do­ing my best to block these. It’s not that I ob­ject to women freely earn­ing a liv­ing in these es­tab­lish­ments. I am sim­ply con­cerned that these es­tab­lish­ments re­in­force ob­jec­ti­fi­ca­tion of women and neg­a­tive gen­der stereo­types in gen­eral.”

David Keet­ley, manager of An­gels, said: “The li­cence is re­newed an­nu­ally. An­gels has been op­er­at­ing with­out in­ci­dent since 2005 and we are not aware of any is­sue re­gard­ing this year’s ap­pli­ca­tion.”

MP for Peter­bor­ough Fiona Onasanya said: “With an es­tab­lish­ment such as An­gels there is the pos­si­bil­ity of reg­u­la­tion and a de­gree of open­ness, so we know what’s go­ing on and ev­ery­thing is above board which I be­lieve is im­por­tant.

“I def­i­nitely un­der­stand where coun­cil­lors Walsh and Ma­habadi are com­ing from, but whilst I don’t con­done the busi­ness I also won’t con­demn it.” The Peter­bor­ough Evening Tele­graph, as we were known, vis­ited the newly opened An­gels in 2005 and spoke to some dancers who were work­ing there. One said she was earn­ing more than £300 a night and was en­joy­ing her work.

She said: “The trou­ble is, strip clubs do have a bad name, so a lot of young guys who’ve never been to one think they’re dingy, dirty places where the girls are right skanks.

“But it’s not like that here. They’re re­ally strict about the rules and re­ally look af­ter you.” The club said it showed the rules to peo­ple en­ter­ing straight away and that it em­ploys house par­ents to look af­ter the girls. So what was the ET’s ver­dict? Re­porter David Old said: “I feel a club of this type is needed in the city. Far from be­ing seedy, the bar oozes a class that is miss­ing from many other places in the city. As an ad­di­tion to the lim­ited nightlife in Peter­bor­ough, An­gels is a wel­come one.” Fea­tures ed­i­tor Rachael Gor­don said: “I was fas­ci­nated by how sup­ple and strong the girls were. But af­ter three hours I felt it was time to go home. Would I go again? Maybe on a hen night or for a night out with the girls. Will I be a reg­u­lar? Prob­a­bly not. I’ll leave that for the boys...”

The An­gels premises in Brook Street, North­min­ster..

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