Lapdancing club The Lodge to re-open after winning stay of execution

thisisoxfordshire: Lodge owner Al Thompson Lodge owner Al Thompson

OXFORD’s only lapdancing club will re-open tonight after a stay of execution was granted by a High Court judge.

The Lodge Gentlemen’s Club in Oxpens Road had closed its doors after the city council turned down its application to renew its sexual entertainment venue licence.

But owner Al Thompson applied to the High Court for permission to take the decision to Judicial Review, and today the court agreed to hear his case.

Mr Thompson said: “We’re very very very pleased the decision to refuse the application to renew the SEV licence has been stayed by the High Court pending their decision.

“We’re both relieved and delighted.”

Mr Thompson has previsously vowed to fight the decision, which was made by the council’s general purposes licencing committee in September.

Council spokesman Christopher Lee said: “We have been notified that the High Court, on the application of the owners of The Lodge, has granted a stay of the city council licensing committee's decision not to renew the sexual entertainment venue licence.

“This will allow it to carry on providing sexual entertainment until their judicial challenge to the decision not to renew their licence is resolved.

“We are told that this process may take several months.

“This is a disappointing development which runs counter to the evidence presented to the licensing committee on concerns generated by the presence of The Lodge.”

He said the committee's decision not to renew the licence was “taken in good faith on the balance of evidence presented to it” and added that the council would continue to monitor the operation of the premises.

Comments (19)

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4:32pm Wed 24 Oct 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

Clearly the judiciary is seeing sense in this case
Clearly the judiciary is seeing sense in this case Dilligaf2010

4:44pm Wed 24 Oct 12

MadMan-JaYmZ says...

Good oxford council are useless and stupid !
Good oxford council are useless and stupid ! MadMan-JaYmZ

4:47pm Wed 24 Oct 12

iklhik says...

Got to love the council's response - it's a "disappointing development" that we have courts to scrutinise the council's decision.

Would be much better if they were accountable to no-one, no doubt.
Got to love the council's response - it's a "disappointing development" that we have courts to scrutinise the council's decision. Would be much better if they were accountable to no-one, no doubt. iklhik

5:07pm Wed 24 Oct 12

dhorspath says...

I have no interest in this issue either way but it is interesting to look back at the 40 or so comments which followed the original decision. Esp. this one:-

handbagsatdawn says...
8:42pm Wed 3 Oct 12

It'll be interesting to see what the high court thinks of the 'evidence' when this decision goes to judicial review. My guess is they'll think it doesn't exist and that there was no reasonable grounds for the application to be refused and the decision will be reversed... and Mr Thompson will win a massive claim for costs against the City Council (I can imagine his legal team aren't cheap). In the end it'll turn out to be nothing more than a politically motivated stunt that taxpayers end up footing the bill for.

A judicial review plus compensation for the owners will hit the City taxpayer with a bill upwards of £100k. This was all agreed last year when the Covern moved into The Lodge premises. What legal advice did these Councillor's have before trying to go back in time time?

Oxford tax payers must have deep pockets!
I have no interest in this issue either way but it is interesting to look back at the 40 or so comments which followed the original decision. Esp. this one:- handbagsatdawn says... 8:42pm Wed 3 Oct 12 It'll be interesting to see what the high court thinks of the 'evidence' when this decision goes to judicial review. My guess is they'll think it doesn't exist and that there was no reasonable grounds for the application to be refused and the decision will be reversed... and Mr Thompson will win a massive claim for costs against the City Council (I can imagine his legal team aren't cheap). In the end it'll turn out to be nothing more than a politically motivated stunt that taxpayers end up footing the bill for. A judicial review plus compensation for the owners will hit the City taxpayer with a bill upwards of £100k. This was all agreed last year when the Covern moved into The Lodge premises. What legal advice did these Councillor's have before trying to go back in time time? Oxford tax payers must have deep pockets! dhorspath

5:15pm Wed 24 Oct 12

BigAlBiker says...

I also have no interest in this but would imagine in a free world people should be able to make choices about which clubs they can visit provided they meet the entry criteria of age etc.

Why the council would want to get involved when they are collecting rates from them beats me.

Live and let live.
I also have no interest in this but would imagine in a free world people should be able to make choices about which clubs they can visit provided they meet the entry criteria of age etc. Why the council would want to get involved when they are collecting rates from them beats me. Live and let live. BigAlBiker

5:30pm Wed 24 Oct 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

BigAlBiker wrote:
I also have no interest in this but would imagine in a free world people should be able to make choices about which clubs they can visit provided they meet the entry criteria of age etc.

Why the council would want to get involved when they are collecting rates from them beats me.

Live and let live.
Ah, but sadly this isn't the real world, after all if it were, people wouldn't be made to pay for a licence to fund paedophiles and their collaborators, or risk a large fine or jail if they don't
[quote][p][bold]BigAlBiker[/bold] wrote: I also have no interest in this but would imagine in a free world people should be able to make choices about which clubs they can visit provided they meet the entry criteria of age etc. Why the council would want to get involved when they are collecting rates from them beats me. Live and let live.[/p][/quote]Ah, but sadly this isn't the real world, after all if it were, people wouldn't be made to pay for a licence to fund paedophiles and their collaborators, or risk a large fine or jail if they don't Dilligaf2010

7:31pm Wed 24 Oct 12

Carfax Cabby says...

Great news. the customers from there are much better than from the other clubs, no trouble, no abuse, no being sick, good clean work.
Great news. the customers from there are much better than from the other clubs, no trouble, no abuse, no being sick, good clean work. Carfax Cabby

12:56am Thu 25 Oct 12

Sophia says...

Judging by posts, some sad old men are delighted at this news. The rest of us arent. Lap dancing is just one remove from outright prostitution, it is degrading to women and, did they but know it, to the sad old men from whom it is the nearest they will ever get to real sex. This club has no place in this city and it is no place for decent people to go.
Judging by posts, some sad old men are delighted at this news. The rest of us arent. Lap dancing is just one remove from outright prostitution, it is degrading to women and, did they but know it, to the sad old men from whom it is the nearest they will ever get to real sex. This club has no place in this city and it is no place for decent people to go. Sophia

8:21am Thu 25 Oct 12

Geoff Roberts says...

Maybe lap dancing is comparable to prostitution. I think both should be legal and the women (and men) involved should be in control and have rights and a decent wage if they decide they want to do it. What I object to is people being forced, either directly or indirectly to do such things. So yes there are many girls out there who turn to lap dancing to make a living but then there are more people who turn to working in McDonald's for a living. You're probably more likely to get abused in McDonald's than in a lap dancing club quite frankly because lap dancing clubs tend to be better run, as pointed out by Oxford Cabbie who has received a good kicking in negative points for making a perfectly reasonable statement about lap dancing clubs.
Maybe lap dancing is comparable to prostitution. I think both should be legal and the women (and men) involved should be in control and have rights and a decent wage if they decide they want to do it. What I object to is people being forced, either directly or indirectly to do such things. So yes there are many girls out there who turn to lap dancing to make a living but then there are more people who turn to working in McDonald's for a living. You're probably more likely to get abused in McDonald's than in a lap dancing club quite frankly because lap dancing clubs tend to be better run, as pointed out by Oxford Cabbie who has received a good kicking in negative points for making a perfectly reasonable statement about lap dancing clubs. Geoff Roberts

10:13am Thu 25 Oct 12

Power says...

Sophia wrote:
Judging by posts, some sad old men are delighted at this news. The rest of us arent. Lap dancing is just one remove from outright prostitution, it is degrading to women and, did they but know it, to the sad old men from whom it is the nearest they will ever get to real sex. This club has no place in this city and it is no place for decent people to go.
I have been to a few lap dancing clubs, and one thing you very rarely see is 'sad old men'. You have a very biased, one eyed and outdated view of what lapdancing clubs are these days. Maybe you should actually go there and make an infirmed opinion instead of churning out the same old lines you probably heard someone else say at the church social, and while you're there, get a life.
[quote][p][bold]Sophia[/bold] wrote: Judging by posts, some sad old men are delighted at this news. The rest of us arent. Lap dancing is just one remove from outright prostitution, it is degrading to women and, did they but know it, to the sad old men from whom it is the nearest they will ever get to real sex. This club has no place in this city and it is no place for decent people to go.[/p][/quote]I have been to a few lap dancing clubs, and one thing you very rarely see is 'sad old men'. You have a very biased, one eyed and outdated view of what lapdancing clubs are these days. Maybe you should actually go there and make an infirmed opinion instead of churning out the same old lines you probably heard someone else say at the church social, and while you're there, get a life. Power

10:58am Thu 25 Oct 12

John Lamb says...

If you are seeking paedophiles or perverts, then I recommend visiting any large local government building. There's a choice of dozens in every one.Check local papers for details.
If you are seeking paedophiles or perverts, then I recommend visiting any large local government building. There's a choice of dozens in every one.Check local papers for details. John Lamb

11:31am Thu 25 Oct 12

MadMan-JaYmZ says...

Sophia wrote:
Judging by posts, some sad old men are delighted at this news. The rest of us arent. Lap dancing is just one remove from outright prostitution, it is degrading to women and, did they but know it, to the sad old men from whom it is the nearest they will ever get to real sex. This club has no place in this city and it is no place for decent people to go.
Just out of curiosity where do you live ?

I bet any money you live right out the way of this club ! But can't help but moan to keep yourself busy !
[quote][p][bold]Sophia[/bold] wrote: Judging by posts, some sad old men are delighted at this news. The rest of us arent. Lap dancing is just one remove from outright prostitution, it is degrading to women and, did they but know it, to the sad old men from whom it is the nearest they will ever get to real sex. This club has no place in this city and it is no place for decent people to go.[/p][/quote]Just out of curiosity where do you live ? I bet any money you live right out the way of this club ! But can't help but moan to keep yourself busy ! MadMan-JaYmZ

1:56pm Thu 25 Oct 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

Sophia wrote:
Judging by posts, some sad old men are delighted at this news. The rest of us arent. Lap dancing is just one remove from outright prostitution, it is degrading to women and, did they but know it, to the sad old men from whom it is the nearest they will ever get to real sex. This club has no place in this city and it is no place for decent people to go.
Clearly you don't know Oxford terribly well.

If you have ever driven or walked around the city late in the evening, with an awareness of what is around you, you'll soon have noticed what is available for negotiation...

You also make it sound that it's only men who are intrigued by dancers. There's a good reason why Mars use male strippers to promote Maltesers.

Should you really want to clean up a city, you don't start with the bright and glossy bits that are subject to licensing, you get right into the darkest recesses. Under bridges, on street corners, behind churches, lay-bys off the A40...
[quote][p][bold]Sophia[/bold] wrote: Judging by posts, some sad old men are delighted at this news. The rest of us arent. Lap dancing is just one remove from outright prostitution, it is degrading to women and, did they but know it, to the sad old men from whom it is the nearest they will ever get to real sex. This club has no place in this city and it is no place for decent people to go.[/p][/quote]Clearly you don't know Oxford terribly well. If you have ever driven or walked around the city late in the evening, with an awareness of what is around you, you'll soon have noticed what is available for negotiation... You also make it sound that it's only men who are intrigued by dancers. There's a good reason why Mars use male strippers to promote Maltesers. Should you really want to clean up a city, you don't start with the bright and glossy bits that are subject to licensing, you get right into the darkest recesses. Under bridges, on street corners, behind churches, lay-bys off the A40... Andrew:Oxford

3:28pm Thu 25 Oct 12

hokuspokus says...

Why on earth did the Council grant the club a licence in the first place at Pennyfarthing Place and then again when they moved to Oxpens last year? I've no interest in ever visiting the place, but it seems pretty obvious that very little has changed to now refuse the licence.

Talk about trying to bolt the stable door after the horse has well and truly bolted and with you waving it on too!

The only option for the Council now is to negotiate with the club. Fighting this will simply result in massive legal bills, during which time the club will probably remain open with the permission of the Courts until its licence is no doubt reinstated.
Why on earth did the Council grant the club a licence in the first place at Pennyfarthing Place and then again when they moved to Oxpens last year? I've no interest in ever visiting the place, but it seems pretty obvious that very little has changed to now refuse the licence. Talk about trying to bolt the stable door after the horse has well and truly bolted and with you waving it on too! The only option for the Council now is to negotiate with the club. Fighting this will simply result in massive legal bills, during which time the club will probably remain open with the permission of the Courts until its licence is no doubt reinstated. hokuspokus

4:57pm Thu 25 Oct 12

MadMan-JaYmZ says...

hokuspokus wrote:
Why on earth did the Council grant the club a licence in the first place at Pennyfarthing Place and then again when they moved to Oxpens last year? I've no interest in ever visiting the place, but it seems pretty obvious that very little has changed to now refuse the licence.

Talk about trying to bolt the stable door after the horse has well and truly bolted and with you waving it on too!

The only option for the Council now is to negotiate with the club. Fighting this will simply result in massive legal bills, during which time the club will probably remain open with the permission of the Courts until its licence is no doubt reinstated.
Thats exactly what will happen.

But the council is to stuck up to apologies or even know when it has been defeated. Expect this to carry on well into the new year !
[quote][p][bold]hokuspokus[/bold] wrote: Why on earth did the Council grant the club a licence in the first place at Pennyfarthing Place and then again when they moved to Oxpens last year? I've no interest in ever visiting the place, but it seems pretty obvious that very little has changed to now refuse the licence. Talk about trying to bolt the stable door after the horse has well and truly bolted and with you waving it on too! The only option for the Council now is to negotiate with the club. Fighting this will simply result in massive legal bills, during which time the club will probably remain open with the permission of the Courts until its licence is no doubt reinstated.[/p][/quote]Thats exactly what will happen. But the council is to stuck up to apologies or even know when it has been defeated. Expect this to carry on well into the new year ! MadMan-JaYmZ

5:08pm Thu 25 Oct 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

Sophia wrote:
Judging by posts, some sad old men are delighted at this news. The rest of us arent. Lap dancing is just one remove from outright prostitution, it is degrading to women and, did they but know it, to the sad old men from whom it is the nearest they will ever get to real sex. This club has no place in this city and it is no place for decent people to go.
I have never visited such a club, and have no intention of doing so, I'm also not a sad old man, I've also never sought the services of a prostitute, or even had a one night stand and I have the utmost respect for women.
Now Sophia, if you too had respect for your fellow sex, you'd accept that they had the intelligence to make their own decisions in life, and may work in such establishments because they enjoy it, possibly even consider it a way of keeping fit whilst being paid, rather than having a gym membership.
If these type of establishments were dens of iniquity they would be raided by the police and shut down in a heartbeat, which interestingly enough hasn't occurred.
If women want to work in these establishments, they should be allowed to do so, if men want to visit these establishments, and pay to see women perform, then let them, nobody's getting forced to work there, nobody's getting hurt, and from the outside it could be anything even an RAOB Lodge.
Just out of interest, when did you actually enjoy some horizontal pleasure?
[quote][p][bold]Sophia[/bold] wrote: Judging by posts, some sad old men are delighted at this news. The rest of us arent. Lap dancing is just one remove from outright prostitution, it is degrading to women and, did they but know it, to the sad old men from whom it is the nearest they will ever get to real sex. This club has no place in this city and it is no place for decent people to go.[/p][/quote]I have never visited such a club, and have no intention of doing so, I'm also not a sad old man, I've also never sought the services of a prostitute, or even had a one night stand and I have the utmost respect for women. Now Sophia, if you too had respect for your fellow sex, you'd accept that they had the intelligence to make their own decisions in life, and may work in such establishments because they enjoy it, possibly even consider it a way of keeping fit whilst being paid, rather than having a gym membership. If these type of establishments were dens of iniquity they would be raided by the police and shut down in a heartbeat, which interestingly enough hasn't occurred. If women want to work in these establishments, they should be allowed to do so, if men want to visit these establishments, and pay to see women perform, then let them, nobody's getting forced to work there, nobody's getting hurt, and from the outside it could be anything even an RAOB Lodge. Just out of interest, when did you actually enjoy some horizontal pleasure? Dilligaf2010

6:59pm Thu 25 Oct 12

Carfax Cabby says...

Sophia says...
12:56am Thu 25 Oct 12

Judging by posts, some sad old men are delighted at this news. The rest of us arent. Lap dancing is just one remove from outright prostitution, it is degrading to women and, did they but know it, to the sad old men from whom it is the nearest they will ever get to real sex. This club has no place in this city and it is no place for decent people to go.

Sophia as somebody that sits outside this club every friday and saturday night I feel qualified to comment. Firstly about behaviour. I have never been worried picking a customer up from there unlike the threats and abuse that I get from as you would put it "normal clubs" and and never feel the need to get payment up front, whereas from a "normal club" I will not move until I have been payed, as I can't run as fast as I used to. Secondly Most of the people that I pick up are 18-21 and 25-35 the first group are friends of students coming to visit for the weekend judging by their accents and conversation on the way home which tends to be more about outdoing each other on academic subjects (students never change) than whoor did you see the t*ts on that, and the latter professionals on a stag or just down for a weekends relaxation, and always to an expensive hotel. And lastly when the girls finish they always come out chatty, but tired, and most are picked up by their boyfriends, very rarely do I hear them complain about their night or bad customers. I really feel that these complaints are based on moral grounds by the minority that live by Victorian standards, and not on any fact of law, or reason to object due to the operation of the club or abuse of it's licence conditions. Sophia if you really feel for women then cast your mind back a year to the young lady who was plied with drink in Flava and then The Bridge under the noses of security staff, and when she was so drunk was taken into a car and raped, or pop along to Hythe Bridge Street and see the Brookes girls laying in the gutter being sick, or crying their eyes out after being sold far too much alcohol, how many unwanted sexual encounters will happen back at Cheney with the boys that know not too have too much to drink on a wednesday night, I hear a lot in the back of my cab. And see even more driving around at all hours. The problems with Oxfords nightlife stem not from The Lodge, but primarily from Hythe Bridge Street, and partly from Park End Street.
Sophia says... 12:56am Thu 25 Oct 12 Judging by posts, some sad old men are delighted at this news. The rest of us arent. Lap dancing is just one remove from outright prostitution, it is degrading to women and, did they but know it, to the sad old men from whom it is the nearest they will ever get to real sex. This club has no place in this city and it is no place for decent people to go. Sophia as somebody that sits outside this club every friday and saturday night I feel qualified to comment. Firstly about behaviour. I have never been worried picking a customer up from there unlike the threats and abuse that I get from as you would put it "normal clubs" and and never feel the need to get payment up front, whereas from a "normal club" I will not move until I have been payed, as I can't run as fast as I used to. Secondly Most of the people that I pick up are 18-21 and 25-35 the first group are friends of students coming to visit for the weekend judging by their accents and conversation on the way home which tends to be more about outdoing each other on academic subjects (students never change) than whoor did you see the t*ts on that, and the latter professionals on a stag or just down for a weekends relaxation, and always to an expensive hotel. And lastly when the girls finish they always come out chatty, but tired, and most are picked up by their boyfriends, very rarely do I hear them complain about their night or bad customers. I really feel that these complaints are based on moral grounds by the minority that live by Victorian standards, and not on any fact of law, or reason to object due to the operation of the club or abuse of it's licence conditions. Sophia if you really feel for women then cast your mind back a year to the young lady who was plied with drink in Flava and then The Bridge under the noses of security staff, and when she was so drunk was taken into a car and raped, or pop along to Hythe Bridge Street and see the Brookes girls laying in the gutter being sick, or crying their eyes out after being sold far too much alcohol, how many unwanted sexual encounters will happen back at Cheney with the boys that know not too have too much to drink on a wednesday night, I hear a lot in the back of my cab. And see even more driving around at all hours. The problems with Oxfords nightlife stem not from The Lodge, but primarily from Hythe Bridge Street, and partly from Park End Street. Carfax Cabby

12:00pm Fri 26 Oct 12

sparky123456 says...

well said carfax cabbie!!!!
I'm 30, in a well paid (lets say 40% tax bracket) job, homeowner etc and I've visited the club a few times. Each time it has been either a work night with just the lads left or at the request of clients I have entertained them there. I can echo cabby when I say my clients I've entertained there always stay at the Malmaison, they ask to eat and drink in Jericho then they want entertainment. A problem with Oxford is a lack of venues for 30+ men (and women) who have no interest in getting absolutely smashed and socializing with the studenty crowd.
What you will find in a strip club are women of a high intelligence, many foreign who have found it hard to gain highly paid employment in the UK, others turned to it after being made redundant, some are students (see previous article about an Oxford Law student dancing there) others to do it to supplement existing income. These women are able to hold a decent conversation, you get a dance and everyone knows nobody is on the pull so the atmosphere is relaxed and adult.
So Sophie I don't know how you liken it to prostitution or how you've arrived at your biased conclusions but you've obviously never visited a lap dancing club. Perhaps you're just jealous of the girls who dance there? Beauty, intelligence and money does seem to inspire that in women!!
And as Carfax cabby said, most violence, rape, assault and drunken disordly behaviour in Oxford happens after Fuzzy Ducks on cowley road, in the dark recesses or Marsh Park/Barracks Lane, behind the church off leopold street, under the bridges on Botley road or on hythe bridge street or park end street. The thing all these places have in common - cheap booze and unders 25's who can't handle it. What they don't have is a strip club nearby!
With the story in hand I'm glad the high court has come to this decision. They wouldn't review this if they didn't think Mr Thompson has some grounds to dispute the councils ruling. Which again shows the incompetences and inconsistency we have in our city council. Again they've cost the taxpayer money. But I'm glad they have because it's about time Oxford grows up in to a more dynamic, diverse cuty instead of playing the insular small town card forever more.
well said carfax cabbie!!!! I'm 30, in a well paid (lets say 40% tax bracket) job, homeowner etc and I've visited the club a few times. Each time it has been either a work night with just the lads left or at the request of clients I have entertained them there. I can echo cabby when I say my clients I've entertained there always stay at the Malmaison, they ask to eat and drink in Jericho then they want entertainment. A problem with Oxford is a lack of venues for 30+ men (and women) who have no interest in getting absolutely smashed and socializing with the studenty crowd. What you will find in a strip club are women of a high intelligence, many foreign who have found it hard to gain highly paid employment in the UK, others turned to it after being made redundant, some are students (see previous article about an Oxford Law student dancing there) others to do it to supplement existing income. These women are able to hold a decent conversation, you get a dance and everyone knows nobody is on the pull so the atmosphere is relaxed and adult. So Sophie I don't know how you liken it to prostitution or how you've arrived at your biased conclusions but you've obviously never visited a lap dancing club. Perhaps you're just jealous of the girls who dance there? Beauty, intelligence and money does seem to inspire that in women!! And as Carfax cabby said, most violence, rape, assault and drunken disordly behaviour in Oxford happens after Fuzzy Ducks on cowley road, in the dark recesses or Marsh Park/Barracks Lane, behind the church off leopold street, under the bridges on Botley road or on hythe bridge street or park end street. The thing all these places have in common - cheap booze and unders 25's who can't handle it. What they don't have is a strip club nearby! With the story in hand I'm glad the high court has come to this decision. They wouldn't review this if they didn't think Mr Thompson has some grounds to dispute the councils ruling. Which again shows the incompetences and inconsistency we have in our city council. Again they've cost the taxpayer money. But I'm glad they have because it's about time Oxford grows up in to a more dynamic, diverse cuty instead of playing the insular small town card forever more. sparky123456

2:56pm Tue 30 Oct 12

OZZY123 says...

who is this Carfax Cabby?? is he a guru??
who is this Carfax Cabby?? is he a guru?? OZZY123

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