Welcome To Stop The Strip Pub

Hello and welcome to the website/blog for the Stop The Strip Pub campaign. This is the movement to prevent Satchmo's on Stoke Newington Road (North London) being granted a license to put on strip shows.

On Tuesday 6th May Hackney Council rejected Satchmo's application for a Sex Encounters Establishment license. 

On 8th March  a group of nearly 100 local residents met outside Satchmo's to protest Satchmo's application.

On 11th April Hackney Council announced that they had received 525 written letters of objection - a new record for the borough.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

The deadline for complaints has now passed

Thank you to everyone who sent a letter of complaint to Hackney Council. Your opinions matter.

Very soon we hope to be able to reveal to you exactly how many letters of complaint were received by the council. Keep checking the site for news.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Hackney Gazette reports on Mayor's support for STSP

Just to clarify - 31 out of 37 local businesses questioned have lodged complaints with the Council - not 29 out of 30 as stated in this article - see the letters page below.

The Letters Page of today's Hackney Gazette - 20th March

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Campaign featured in Turkish newspaper Olay

The following article is not necessarily representative of the views of all involved in the Stop the Strip Pub campaign. Nevertheless it is a very strong indication of the multi-cultural nature of our neighbourhood and the strength of feeling against Satchmo's proposal that runs through all sections of the community.

Translation of article published in Olay:

Local residents do not want ‘Strip Club’

Local residents strongly oppose the licence application for a strip club that an entertainment establishment which is currently running a pub in the Stoke Newington area has filed before Hackney Council.

Local residents opposed to the running of a section of the pub as a strip club organized a protest in front of the pub in question last Saturday afternoon.

Several people from Turkey joined the large protest and Councilor Muttalip Ünlüer, was present and gave his full support.

Holding placards warning the Council and expressing their opposition to the proposal, the protesters made it clear that they did not want such an establishment in the neighbourhood.

In a written statement the Anatolian Cultural Centre [located 25 metres from the pub] stated: “The entertainment establishment called Satchmo’s Pub, on the corner of Stoke Newington Road and Palatine Road, has filed an application before Hackney Council to operate a strip club on the premises. As local residents we are aware that the Pub’s real purpose is quick profit and the marketing of women and we are deeply worried about this.”

The statement continued: “We consider the proposal immoral and an affront to the ordinary working people of the area, especially given the multicultural nature of the neighbourhood and the number of schools present in it.”

The statement added: “We should demonstrate to the Council that we will not allow the alienation of the local residents nor the annihilation of ordinary people’s moral values. In these times when drug dealers, prostitution, gambling and gangs try to recruit more victims for their activities, we will not tolerate those who expose our youth to drug dealing and prostitution. We attach no value to those who organise such activities. If we want to live in our neighbourhood with peace of mind, without having to lock our front doors, knowing that our daughters and sons will not be drawn into the swamp, if we want to live with honour and dignity, then we have to stand up as a strong barricade against alienation and prostitution. It is our moral imperative.”

The statement concluded: “Together with the local people, who care about their moral values, we shall not give our permission for the pub to become a den of iniquity.”

An interesting feature in today's Guardian - 19th March

Click here to read: 'I was seen as an object, not a person'

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Influential Women Support STSP

The F-Word - the UK's top feminist website, listed in the Guardian recently as one of the worlds top 50 most influential blogs has written about our campaign - and written to Hackney Council to lodge an objection too!

Local Businesses Support STSP

Two members of the STSP campaign made a survey of local businesses on Saturday. The response was overwhelming, people thanked us for bringing the matter to their attention and rushed to sign letters of objection and petitions. Many asked their customers to sign too and put up posters in support of the campaign. We even got offered free drinks in one place!

In numbers - of the 37 businesses we found in a 200m radius of Satchmo's, 31 have now sent a letter of objection to the council. That's a staggering 84%!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Another Article In The Evening Standard

This one contains two quotes from Satchmo's themselves, which I feel I can respond to:

"We are trying to reinvent ourselves as a modern, stylish cocktail bar."

During our meeting with them they said they would be aiming for a "middle ground" between places like Spearmint Rhino and the rougher kinds of strip club such as those in Shoreditch, not my definition of modern and stylish. What kind of "modern, stylish" venue needs a license for pole dancing starting at 11am?

"We believe it will be a positive thing for the area"

Particularly interesting since during our meeting they admitted they had not done any actual research into what local people want or would come to. We on the other hand have done exactly that and the overwhelming response is that local residents and businesses feel it will be a considerable negative for the area.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Feature about STSP in Evening Standard

Click for a larger, readable version.

Support Floods In For Stop The Strip Pub

We have received the following statements of support:

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London

"I fully support the campaign by local residents, businesses and community leaders in Stoke Newington to oppose the application by Satchmo’s public house for a strip pub licence. Residents are right to raise concerns about the potential negative impact of a strip club on the people who live and work in the area. I will work with those who oppose a strip pub at this site in order to maintain the quality of life for all the families and residents, particularly women, who live in Stoke Newington and for everyone who works in and visits the area."

Diane Abbott MP

“I am horrified at the prospect of a strip club at 97 Stoke Newington Road. This part of Stoke Newington is essentially residential with many young families. Strip clubs and “sex encounter establishments” belong in established sex industry areas like Soho. We do not need sleazy sex clubs in Stoke Newington. I will be pressing the council to oppose this planning application.”

Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney

"I very much support the residents' campaign to keep places like this away from where they live. The law allows for the establishment of these kind of venues, but Stoke Newington Road is not an acceptable place for them. I hope this will not be like the situation with betting shops, where the law and national regulations are more on the side of the business proprietor than local people."

Joint statement from the three ward councillors Jamie Carswell, Rita Krishna and Muttalip Unluer

"As local ward councillors, we totally support the community campaign to stop this sex license. With many schools, places of worship, and family homes nearby it is clearly a completely unsuitable location for such a use. There is a formal process that has to be gone through to receive this license, and we urge all local residents to support the campaign making the reasoned case of objection at the licensing committee."

John Taylor, Minister at Stoke Newington Baptist Church

"Speaking as one of the leaders of the Christian community in Stoke Newington with a church only a few blocks from Satchmo’s I would want to stand with other faith communities and community groups in opposing this application. Quite apart from the offence that will be given to people’s religious sensibilities, “Sex Encounter” establishments inevitably help perpetuate the illegal trafficking of vulnerable girls and young women into what is arguably the 21st century’s equivalent of the slave trade."

Story from Hackney Gazette

Click on the image for a bigger (readable) image.

Photo from the Hackney Gazette

Taken by Peter Gettins

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Hackney Post Coverage of Protest

The Hackney Post have covered Saturday's protest. Including a nice quote from me. Click here to read the article.

Photos From 8th March Protest

Our Objections

Below is a list of our objections to Satchmo’s proposal to open a Sex Encounters Establishment in our residential area.

This is not intended as an exhaustive list - some residents, businesses and community leaders have additional religious and political issues with this proposal.

Our campaign has the full support of Ken Livingstone (Mayor of London), Jules Pipe (Mayor of Hackney), Diane Abbott (MP for Stoke Newington) and the three ward councillors for Stoke Newington - Jamie Carswell, Rita Krishna and Muttalip Unluer

1) The potential danger of harassment and intimidation for local women

Research carried out by Eaves:

There is evidence to link a sudden rise in sexual assaults in previously 'safe' areas with the opening of sex clubs and shops. An example of this is the Lilith report, more information about which can be found here on the eaves website, showing a rise in sexual assaults and rape (by 57% and 50% respectively) in Camden over three years following the opening of strip clubs.

From the EVENING STANDARD published 6th March 2008:

“The number of reported rapes near lap-dancing bars is three times the national average. And whatever proprietors say, sex can be bought - a quarter of men in one study claimed they had sex for money on the premises. In Camden, which has at least half-a-dozen licensed adult clubs, women consider the surrounding streets "no-go areas" and complain of being harassed by touts. In some areas, taxis won't stop.”

See full story here.

2) We have already seen evidence of harassment

A young single woman who lives on Palatine Road approached Satchmo’s for an explanation of what was being proposed. While on the premises a customer overheard the conversation and asked her if she was a dancer auditioning for a job. This is evidence already of the way in which local women will be viewed by patrons of this bar.

3) Location on a residential street

This directly contravenes the Council’s guidelines. Council Guide Lines: Sex Shops, Sex Cinemas & Sex Encounter Premises published by Hackney Council states:

"The council shall not normally grant a licence where there are residentially occupied premises, schools (including nursery groups) or places of worship, within 50 metres of the premises seeking a licence."


- there approximately 46 residents on Palatine Road who live within 50m of Satchmo’s.

- the entrance to a further 11 flats lies directly opposite the pub.

- there are 8 residential flats above Satchmo’s.

- there are 4 residences on Palatine Avenue which lie within 50m of Satchmo’s.

4) Proximity to places of worship

- The local Mosque is approximately 85m from Satchmo’s

- Attached to Satchmo’s (at 6-8 Palatine Road) is a community centre which is used as a place of worship and education

5) Proximity to schools

Claudia Jones Saturday School is held in the community centre which is attached to Satchmo’s (at 6-8 Palatine Road). Pupils from the school are seen at the front of the group of protesters at Saturday’s photo shoot.

Princess May Primary School is approximately 175m from Satchmo’s.

There are a number of nurseries located in the area surrounding Palatine Road.

A number of child minders live on Palatine Road.

6) A strong community spirit would be eroded

This is a multi-cultural street that lives in peace and harmony. Children play in the street and there are families who have lived here happily for decades.

This community looks out for one another – as we saw when almost 100 local people turned up to our protest on 8th March.

We have a number of great community initiatives including an annual fete for children on Butterfield Green at the end of the road and a local community orchard.

This way of life would be in danger.

7) Local community workers are against it

At Saturday’s demonstration we saw a very strong turn out from representatives of the Anatolian People’s Cultural Centre (89-91 Stoke Newington Rd). When the Stop The Strip Pub team contacted them to inform them of what was happening they were outraged and immediately pledged support.

Representatives of Claudia Jones – a black women’s educational project located three doors away from Satchmo’s (103 Stoke Newington Road) – are incensed and will be opposing the application.

8) Local businesses are against it

Representatives of the Stop The Strip Pub Campaign have been interviewing local businesses to gauge opinion. The majority had not been informed by Satchmo’s – the first they knew about the proposal was when we spoke to them. The majority were deeply concerned by the proposal and its implications for the community as a whole.

9) This area is improving – why introduce something which will open up a whole new range of social problems?

The proposal to open a strip pub in Stoke Newington suggests that the area is on the decline. This is very, very far from the case. Why do we want this to happen?

If we examine crime statistics for Hackney (see this link) it is clear that Hackney has historically had a far higher level of crime in comparison to the national average. It is the Campaign view that to add an establishment of this type in the locality would only increase the potential for greater crime and disorder in the area.

10) Social responsibility

This is a pub that does not care about the community. It is not operating in co-operation with the local community. It is operating in spite of the local community. It is showing a blatant disregard for the feelings and wishes of the community it is supposed to serve.

At no point has Satchmo’s ever sought to communicate any of its plans with local residents. Residents have had to contact the owners to find out what is going on. Satchmo’s has done the bare minimum by simply posting one notice on the Palatine Road side of the bar.

11) Not in anyone’s back yard

This is not NIMBYism – we would argue that this type of establishment should not be located near ANY residential street.

We support recent campaigns to oppose similar venues in residential areas in Acton and in Archway – See this link.

We are not opposing something that would do good for greater society. We are not opposing a wind farm for example.

We are opposing the location of a strip pub in a residential street.

12) What IS the argument FOR a strip pub in a residential area?