I usually highlight licensing applications on here, and despite some quivers of prudishness, I really ought to highlight the current consultation on licensing in Wandsworth.

We are required to have a policy on ‘sex establishments’, things like lap-dancing clubs. The policy should state the areas in which these are considered appropriate.

I will confess my response as a councillor saw my libertarian and authoritarian Conservative streaks clashing! My inner libertarian told me that a blanket ‘no’ policy was bad, is it really right for the council to tell people and businesses what is and isn’t appropriate? Especially when the system means applications can be rejected (or approved) on a case-by-case basis.

The authoritarian in me (on reflection, a bad choice or word given of the connotations) felt it inappropriate to have anything like a sex establishment in ward that was almost totally residential – even Lavender Hill, with all its businesses, is home to hundreds of people who live above those shop fronts.

The authoritarian won. Frankly, there are conversations I can do without having with MiniMe and MiniHer as the grow up and plod along Lavender Hill or Clapham Junction with me! And it’s not as if it deprives people of choice when central London is just a short bus, tube or train ride away for most of the borough.

The libertarian in me will suggest that if you have any views (even if they are that Shaftesbury should be a den of iniquity) you should respond to the council consultation. Comments need to be in by Friday 25 February and can be made (like any other licensing application) by emailing licensing@wandsworth.gov.uk or writing to:

London Borough of Wandsworth,
Environmental Services and Community Safety,
Safety and Licensing Team,
PO Box 47095,
London SW18 9AQ

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