Sheffield campaigners call for Spearmint Rhino closure
Anti-lapdance campaigners said that allowing Spearmint Rhino to continue trading in Sheffield allowed inequality in the workplace to continue, and for women to be abused by bosses and customers.
Speaking at Sheffield Council’s licensing sub committee on Tuesday to discuss the venue’s yearly operating licence, city ward councillor Douglas Johnson said the authority has a legal duty to “advance equality between women and men”.
“We are looking at a number of issues here where there’s no equality between women and men,” he said.
“The management are predominantly men and are employed on standard working contracts and the women are not.”
Labour campaigner Nicki Bond said there had been reports of men fighting, women being assaulted, indecent exposure and drugs being dealt in streets around the club, adding: “We have been made aware that the dancers are expected to perform extras to clients.”
Alison Boydell, from the Sheffield branch of the campaign group Not Buying it, said: “Licences can be refused if they impact on vulnerable people in the local area. This club impacts mainly on women. It is no wonder customers expect sexual activity because of the advertising on the website and social media. ”
Sheffield resident Lisa Markham said: “I don’t want to see Spearmint Rhino pack up and move to a more sensible part of the city. I don’t want Spearmint Rhino open in this city.
“Spearmint Rhino is about men having power, through money, to control women in a certain way.”
Philip Kolvin QC, for the premises, said no extras were performed at Spearmint Rhino, and that there had been no reported criminal incidents on Brown Street in the past 12 months.
A decision is expected later this week.
By Andy Done-Johnson - Local Democracy Reporter