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Issue:- 17/18 February 2009


DAME Vivienne Westwood’s son, Ben Westwood has condemned new licensing laws for lap-dancing clubs which could mean the loss of 15,000 jobs from the lap-dancing industry.

Westwood, who held a protest about the changes outside Harman’s South London house in December, says:- “It’s worth remembering that all oppressive regimes throughout history have been sexually puritanical.  Hitler campaigned on closing the’ immoral and decadent’ Berlin made famous in the Liza Minelli film Cabaret.”

New powers to control lap-dancing clubs are being given to councils in England and Wales.  Current licensing laws put clubs in the same category as pubs and cafes, but from April, clubs will be classed as sex establishments and residents will be able to oppose venues for being “inappropriate“ to the area.

Chris Knight, Vice President of the Lap-dancing Association said:- “it’s a battle of survival.”

Local Councils will be given powers to shut down establishments because of their “degradation to women” and classify harmless titillation as “sexual encounters”. Existing clubs will have 12 months to apply for a licence or face closure.

“Since when has a flash of nipple been a sex encounter?“ says Ben Westwood. “Titillation and fun must be completely devoid from the ‘Harperson’ household.”

The Prime Minister’s wife Sarah Brown, recently backed the Heels That Heal Campaign, also supported by Atsuko Kudo, who dressed Kelly Brook in latex for the cover of the News of the World’s Fabulous Magazine. As Westwood says:- “Harriet Harman wants to both ban burlesque, and ban heels in the workplace. Clearly Sarah Brown is not as prudish as Labour’s Deputy Leader.”

The change in law follows a government consultation on licensing laws for lap-dancing clubs. It is estimated the number of such clubs has doubled to more than 300 since 2004.

Home Office Minister Alan Campbell said:- “Many people have told us they don’t want a lap-dancing club in their neighbourhood and feel that the existing legislation does not adequately take account of their concerns.  From April these important reforms will give local authorities the powers they need to respond to the concerns of local people regarding the number and location of lap-dancing clubs in their area.“

Equality Minister Harriet Harman said:- “If people don’t want to have a sleazy lap-dancing club in their neighbourhood, they shouldn’t be forced to have one.“


OVER the course of a year, the average Brit has to wait in for three different tradesmen for a total of 6 hours and 3 minutes. That’s a total of 366 hours – equivalent to 15 days – waiting for workmen to arrive over the average adult lifetime.  But some are left waiting even longer as 82% polled said a contractor turned up late, while more than a third said they arrived on a completely different day to what was agreed.   The research, which was carried out by TrustMark, the Government backed, not for profit quality mark for tradesmen, also found that 60 per cent even said they have spent an entire day waiting in for a tradesman who failed to show up at all.

Roman Russocki, Chief Executive of TrustMark said:- “Many businesses aren’t able to give specific times of arrival for tradesman, so instead you are normally only given a vague window.  But this can be a nightmare for homeowners who have work and other responsibilities as they have to spend ages waiting for tradesmen to arrive, sometimes to do a job that’s only a few minutes long.  To make it worse, it seems that some turn up on a different day or even fail to turn up at all, which leaves homeowners having to wait around for 2 days, just for a single job.  Choosing the right tradesmen can really help reduce the chances of this happening. The best way to cut down on the time you spend waiting is to look on the TrustMark database – it’s easy to find a reliable and trustworthy tradesman in your local area.”

Plumbers have been named as the worst for keeping people waiting, with Brits having to wait an average of 59 minutes into an allocated ‘window’ before they turn up for a job.  Heating engineers leave people waiting around for an average of 58 minutes, followed by builders who show up after 55 minutes.  Electricians arrive 54 minutes after the estimated arrival time, while aerial or satellite engineers turn up after 53 minutes.  Conservatory erectors, tillers and tree surgeons keep their customers waiting for 25 minutes while workmen due to fix security systems and gardeners arrive after 26 minutes.  But bedroom fitters were revealed as the most reliable tradesman, leaving people waiting for an average of just 23 minutes. 

The survey revealed the top five tradesmen most and least likely to keep you waiting:-

Tradesmen most likely to keep you waiting

1. Plumbers 59 minutes
2. Heating engineer 58 minutes
3. Builder 55 minutes
4. Electrician 54 minutes
5. Aerial/satellite engineer 53 minutes

Tradesmen least likely to keep you waiting

1. Bedroom fitter 23 minutes
2. Conservatory erector 25 minutes
3. Tiller 25 minutes
4. Tree surgeon 25 minutes
5. Security engineer and garden landscaper 26 minutes

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