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Sheffield grandmother taking council to court over 'unlimited' strip club policy

'Irene Gladdison' is launching a legal challenge against Sheffield Council
'Irene Gladdison' is launching a legal challenge against Sheffield Council
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A Sheffield grandmother is taking the council to court after they said there should be 'no limit' on the number of sexual entertainment venues in the city.

'Irene Gladdison', aged 54, has raised nearly £5,000 in order to launch her legal challenge to over turn the policy.

A draft council report published in December 2016 said there would be a a limit of two strip clubs in Sheffield. Since there are already two clubs of this kind in Sheffield, it would effectively stop any new sexual entertainment venue from opening.

But further consultation the 'two-club limit' was replaced with a provision allowing the council to introduce a cap for an unspecified number. The report said the policy 'does not specify any limit on sex establishments'.

Sheffield currently has Spearmint Rhino in the city centre and La Chambre swingers club in Attercliffe.

Ms Gladdison said: “I'm a 54 year old grandmother, with five grandchildren. A lifelong feminist and a proud Sheffielder.

"I refuse to be cowed by the city council and allow them to 'OK' the sexual objectification of our girls. Because we will never have an end to the ‘President’s Club’ attitudes when men can buy women as sexual entertainment at strip clubs.”

Bosses behind Villa Mercedes wanted to open a strip club on Leadmill Road but withdrew after 'fierce opposition' half way through a licensing meeting at Sheffield Town Hall back in September 2016.

Ms Gladdison, not her real name due to fear of reprisals, is backed by campaign group Not Buying It.

They said 'Time's Up' for sexual harassment in a society that says 'men have the right to buy women for sexual entertainment'.

The Time's Up campaign is a movement against sexual harassment and was founded on January 1, 2018, by Hollywood celebrities.

Irene is being represented by human rights lawyer Louise Whitfield of Deighton Pierce Glynn.

She said: “The law is very clear that if a particular issue is highly relevant for gender equality, a public body must look very carefully at any negative impact on women.

"Unfortunately, the council has taken a very narrow approach and only considered extremely limited evidence about the adverse effect these clubs have on women performers. We hope that as before, the council will recognise their errors and agree to think again. If not, my client has no choice but to pursue her legal challenge.”

Sheffield Council has been contacted to comment.