The Lodge 'gentleman's club' was briefly closed down last month after OFN and local residents were successful in raising objections to their license renewal at a council hearing. But just a few days later the club re-opened after being granted a judicial review into the council's decision.
OFN's submission was comprehensive, and combined with the oral evidence, covered both objections on the basis of sexual exploitation, unequal employment conditions (the majority female lapdancers are self-employed, while the other staff, mostly male, are employed), and also harassment of women in the local community and of local residents. Unfortunately, the council officer inexplicably lost half of our submission and therefore it couldn't be presented as evidence (despite the fact that it was attached to the same email as the other half that was accepted) and the consultation website had been faulty preventing many people from lodging their own complaints. Louise Livesey was brilliant presenting OFN and local residents' issues, Natalie Brook from OSARCC spoke about the high rates of sexual assault in Oxford and in other places where lapdancing clubs have opened.
Meanwhile, the owner of The Lodge talked a lot about how much effort the club goes to to protect the 'girls' who work there (women, surely?) from the customers, which in itself tells you a lot.
We're doing our best to find out more about the progress of the judicial review (which is likely to take many months), and we're supporting the council in its decision.
But the campaign isn't over. If you have ideas about what the campaign can do next, or you want to get involved in supporting the campaign, contact email@example.com.