London, Jan 30 (ANI): A vicar - the inspiration for Father Adam Smallbone in the BBC comedy 'Rev' - has slammed a London council ban on strippers, lap dancers and sex shops in his parish.
Reverend Paul Turp of St Leonard's Church in Shoreditch has strongly criticised the council for attempting to 'impose a moral code' on local residents and visitors by outlawing lap dancing, sex shops and adult cinemas in the area, reports the Independent.
Hackney council voted last week for what it called a 'nil' policy, banning any new strip venues from opening and holding out the likelihood that four existing clubs will lose their licences as they come up for renewal.
The policy was approved despite more than 66 percent of people who took part in a public consultation on the plans saying 'no' to the ban.
Rev Turp said he was 'hugely disappointed' with the decision, adding that it will 'push the business underground, resulting in more women working dangerously on the streets' and will add to the people who turn to his church for help.
"The council have created a problem where there wasn't one to begin with. They deliberately disregarded the views of the people," said the clergyman, who provides refuge for 17 homeless people, as well as caring for alcoholics, addicts and prostitutes.
The local authority's clampdown on strip clubs derives from the 2010 Policing and Crime Act, which gives councils greater authority in the licensing of strip clubs. The policy also removes sex establishments' rights of appeal if licence renewal is refused.
Rev Turp warned that, unless overturned legally, the policy was likely to lead to danger for strip club workers and disruption for members of the public.
"A wretched mistake has been made. Hackney 30 years ago was a very dodgy place. I remember the struggle to get these places licensed. Now they are well run and safe," he added. (ANI)