Spearmint Rhino strip club review pushed back for further investigation

Sheffield Council has delayed a controversial decision on whether Spearmint Rhino can stay open.

By Molly Williams, local democracy reporter
Monday, 03 June, 2019, 16:44
Strippers from Speramint Rhino and their supporters make banners and posters in defence of their jobs. Natalie Charlesworth, Harley Blair, Rosa Vince, Celia Lister, Rachel McCoy and Ella Smith. Picture Scott Merrylees

It comes after a secretly filmed and sexually graphic video recorded inside the club threatened to shut them down.

In the video, which is said to have been filmed by two former police officers, members from the Women’s Equality Party said strippers breached their licence.

The group, who have called for the club to be shut down, revealed the details of the video in a full council meeting in which some elected members walked out, saying it was ‘too graphic’.

Spearmint Rhino and the council said they would investigate the alleged breaches.

A review of the licence, which happens annually, was set for a committee meeting on June 11. Strippers and supporters of the club had already prepared banners and placards reading ‘my body, my choice’ and ‘rights not rescue’ to protest against closure.

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Heather Watson, aged 23, who is a stripper at the club, said: “The precariousness is really taking its toll on everyone. Every single year there is this feeling of ‘maybe we’re going to be shut down’ but this year it’s felt more likely.

“I think people are becoming more understanding of the industry but the campaigns against us are becoming more vicious.”

Rachel McCoy, 37, is a mother-of-two and a stripper at the club, she said: “I’ve always worked hard but really struggled financially, so this is the first time in my life I’ve had some freedom and I can treat my kids.”

The council said interested parties had been made aware of the decision to postpone the meeting. No new date has yet been set.