Agenda item

Report of the Head of Housing and Community Services - Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, Schedule 3 – Application for the Renewal of a Sex Establishment Licence – for Players, Gentlemens’ Club, 57 High Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1SY


The Chairman requested those participating in the hearing to identify themselves as follows:


Members of the committee;

John Littlemore   – Head of Housing and Community Services

Jayne Bolas   - Legal Advisor;

Poppy Collier   - Clerk to the committee;

Emma Sexton   – Applicant and Manager of Players Gentleman’s Club;

Stephen Thomas   - representing the Applicant;

Jemma Anscombe - Assistant Manager of Players Gentleman’s Club, witness for the applicant.


None of those who made representations attended or gave any indication relating to attendance.


The Chairman confirmed that all parties had a copy of the hearing procedure. A Member requested that the procedure notes be circulated separately to the agenda going forward for ease of reference and Mr Littlemore agreed that this could be arranged in future


It was confirmed by the Chairman that the committee Members had read the report and other attached documents, and that no amendments or conditions had been put forward.


The Head of Housing and Community Services outlined the application for renewal of the licence for Players Gentleman’s Club, and advised that the additional conditions added at the transfer of the application to Ms Sexton had all been actioned. The Police had commented on the application to state they had no objections. It was the officer’s recommendation that the application be approved with current conditions.


Three objections had been received with regards to the application. Officers had attempted to contact the objectors on several occasions but had received no response, and statutory notice of the hearing had been given.


Mr Thomas, representing the applicant, provided opening remarks and explained that:


·  Players Gentleman’s Club had been involved in the striptease business for ten years. Kent Police had confirmed in a letter at appendix C of the report that no crime reports had been received during the previous year. The statement by the Police also confirmed that the reported burglary in July and arson in October 2015 were not connected to the operation of the daily business.


·  Visits by council licensing officers and the Police had confirmed that the venue had been compliant with the conditions of the licence. No issues had been reported to the licensing team.


·  The number of objections received was small. Two objections had been received from alleged former members of staff, but their identities could not be confirmed. Staff members were obligated to report any incidents involving drugs, but no reports had been made.


·  The Police had confirmed that there were no reports of crime that would correlate with the use of drugs at the premises. Full CCTV coverage of the venue, trained door staff and floor walking staff acted to deter and detect drug use. The venue’s customer house rules at appendix A to the report were prominently displayed and gave notice that management reserved the right to search persons on the premises. Dancers were also subject to bag checks. The cleaners had identified no signs of drug use during the course of their work.


Ms Sexton and Ms Anscombe adopted Mr Thomas’ evidence as their own evidence to the hearing.


The Chairman invited the committee to ask any questions of the applicant. In response to questions it was stated that:


·  Prior to legislation regarding legal highs adopted in July 2016 it had been hard to enforce a restriction on those substances. However identified use of such substances had been rare.


·  Annual visits by the Licensing team took place on a random date between 22.00 - 1.00 hours. Additional visits could be arranged with the manager. The assistant manager of Players kept a record of all visits.


·  There were 21 CCTV cameras in operation and the live footage was constantly monitored by a specifically assigned member of staff. Footage was kept for 31 days as per guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office.


·  Players Gentlemen’s club was part of the Maidsafe scheme.


Mr Thomas was invited to provide closing remarks to the hearing. Mr Thomas restated that neither of the two objectors to the application had attended to explain the allegations and little weight should be afforded to the objections.





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