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Camden New Journal - By PAUL KIELTHY
Published: 3 January 2008
Lap-dance bid close to school angers critics

Secrets wants new club in Holborn

A MAJOR chain of lap-dancing clubs has caused controversy with plans to open a branch close to a Holborn primary school.
Secrets, which has venues in Euston and Finchley Road, is asking for a 4am licence at its new club in Parker Street.
Licensing chiefs will decide on Wednesday whether it can open and for how long into the evening the stripteases can go on for.
Residents in the area have flooded the council’s licensing department with objections.
Police have also warned councillors to be aware of complaints of late-night disturbances in the street, which is already home to Parkers table-dancing club and nightclubs Sway, Browns, New Connaught Rooms, Guanabara and Bada Bling.
David Kaner, from the Covent Garden Community Association, has asked the council to take steps to protect pupils attending the nearby St Joseph’s Primary School in Macklin Street.
He said: “This should include a prohibition against any advertising on the outside of the premises suggesting the activities available inside them (for example, photos of scantily clad males or females).”
George Gallagher, chairman of Holland and Thurston Residents’ Association, said his members totally opposed the application “in all areas” fearing that small children might potentially witness lewd, drunken and violent behaviour.
He added: “The proposed lap dancing club would impact considerably on mothers, and other local women may also be harassed by sexually frustrated male clients leaving the club intoxicated.”
Paul Taffe, who lives nearby, said in his letter of objection: “Public sexual intercourse, violence, threatening behaviour, noise, car horns blaring all hours of the night, drunks of both sexes urinating and defecating outside our homes, vomiting, drug dealing and a general sense of menace after dark, and now you want to put more of the same on our doorstep.”
In its application, Secrets guaranteed that audience members would not be permitted to participate in the performances, which would not include simulated sexual activity between the performers who would entertain no physical contact with the customers.
The club said it will provide that registered bouncers would supervise entrances and exits, rules of appropriate conduct would be displayed and a crime prevention strategy would be devised in collaboration with the police.

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