The application to renew the sexual entertainment venue license for La Salsa, Halifax, has been approved by Calderdale councilors, subject to this condition.
Although police and ward councilors raised no concerns about the request, it was opposed, including by representatives of the Calderdale WomenCentre, which is opposite the club on the other side of Silver Street.
Ten letters or emails oppose the request, which must be reviewed annually.
Opponents of the club made their case and also expressed concern that windows containing nude female figures in the design, which they claim the club had been asked to remove or cover up before, had not not been modified.
The pictures on the second floor windows were still there and were of those staying at the shelter, advisers heard.
One opponent said it shouldn’t be up to local activists to force local authorities to make a decision and that they should consider enacting zero-tolerance conditions for existing sex entertainment venues.
For many years they felt they had argued against the establishment that they thought the council should do on its own, objector Chris Green said.
Opponents argued that the license should be refused because the club was inappropriately located opposite the center and also close to the gathering place, which helped vulnerable men and women and also served as a church.
They said West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin said the safety of women and girls was at the heart of her brief and opponents told Calderdale Council’s licensing sub-committee, which was making the decision , that they believe allowing locals to trade on women’s sexuality is demeaning to both men and women and, at a time when domestic violence is on the rise, it is potentially dangerous.
They also argued that the nature of downtown Halifax was changing to attract families.
One said: ‘We have been told many times that we should never talk about morals, but gaining a reputation as a place families can visit, Piece Hall and Shibden Hall, means that ‘there is no place for an establishment like this in Halifax.’
But club owner Reza Shasavar said the club had been operating there since 2002 and had run smoothly.
“Overall, we run the place very professionally,” he said.
He explained the circumstances of an incident in August 2020 after being asked about it by Councilman Robert Thornber (Con, Ryburn).
Council Constable John Beacroft-Mitchell said the only reference was made to an assault on the premises, but this was unrelated to the sex entertainment license held and the police had not not raised as a problem.
Subcommittee chair Councilor Stephanie Clarke (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden) read the panel’s resolution that the request would be granted – but all La Salsa windows must be opaque, removing or covering the images.