Renewal of Stratford club’s ‘sex’ licence approved

Swagga nightclub in Stratford

Swagga nightclub in Stratford - Credit: Archant

A children’s charity that helps sexually exploited young people has said it is disappointed with the council’s decision to renew a sexual entertainments licence at a nearby club.

Previous owners at the venue in Broadway, Stratford, have held the licence for the past 10 years and in July an application to continue operating under new ownership was submitted by Serene Entertainments Ltd.

Altogether, four formal objections were submitted to the council, with the charity insisting that renewal of the licence, which allows lap dancing and strip shows in front of an audience, would be inappropriate.

However, the council’s licensing sub-committee approved the renewal and transfer to new ownership at a meeting on Monday.

A spokesman for The Children’s Society, in the Broadway, which works with vulnerable youngsters including those who have been sexually exploited, said: “We are disappointed by this decision. We will expect Newham Council to impose, monitor and enforce any conditions necessary to ensure the safety of the children and young people we support.”

During the meeting, councillors asked charity representatives why they chose to move to the Stratford base in November last year, when the building next door held a sexual entertainments venue licence.

But a spokeswoman for the charity explained that they were unaware that the club held such a licence because it was not operating at the time.

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She added: “Stratford is not the same place it used to be. It is embarrassing to have a sexual entertainment venue in that locality.”

A spokesman from Serene Entertainment Ltd, said: “As the committee quite rightly agreed, The Children’s Society had the resources to check out all their neighbours prior to signing the lease and moving into an existing established trading area.

“Had they done their own due diligence or at least spoken to the police or council, they would have known we were not the risk but more so others in this area.

“It is a fact that Stratford is the country’s number one crime hotspot and is home to some notorious postcode gangs.”

It was also revealed in the meeting that police had not raised any concerns over the venue and that the council had not received any complaints.

A spokeswoman for Newham Council said the club would be monitored to ensure licensing conditions are complied with.