'Soho of Suffolk' fear over adult nights

A MARKET town could be transformed into the "Soho of Suffolk" if a host of adult nights are given the go-ahead, a concerned official has claimed.Plans for six striptease events at Rush Nightclub in Haverhill have also come under fire from the local council in the wake of numerous sex attacks in the past year.

A MARKET town could be transformed into the "Soho of Suffolk" if a host of adult nights are given the go-ahead, a concerned official has claimed.

Plans for six striptease events at Rush Nightclub in Haverhill have also come under fire from the local council in the wake of numerous sex attacks in the past year.

Mabon Dane, of Haverhill Town Council, believes the evenings would bring a "seedy" element to the town and called on members of St Edmundsbury Borough Council to reject the plans.

"The Haverhill Representative Alliance are concerned that our two-street shopping centre is being turned into the Soho of Suffolk," said Mr Dane, who was a chief protester when Haverhill resident Mark Simpkin announced plans to open a licensed sex shop in the town.


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He added: "We have a sex shop and now striptease nights – these things do not sell the town centre to others.

"Striptease nights also demean women and makes them into sexual objects. They do not help with the current spate of sex attacks in the town.

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"The Suffolk Police Authority have gone to great lengths to say there is only low level crime in Haverhill, and I think this plan undermines all the good work councillors and the police are doing.

"Haverhill is a safe place, but these events do create a seedy feel to our town centre."

With many in Haverhill still reeling by four reported sex attacks in little over a year, Mr Dane's concerns have been backed by his fellow town councillors, who have informed the borough's licensing committee that they oppose the plans.

Town clerk Gordon Mussett said: "Although there is no connection between the Rush Nightclub and events in the town, and also between striptease and events in the town, we have a duty to try and tone down people's exuberance at night rather than build it up.

"There have been a number of highly publicised sexual attacks in the town over the past year. "Although only one incident remains unresolved, the town council believes it has a duty to ensure that public entertainment reduces, rather than stimulates, the sexual libido of the late night partygoers."

As part of the submitted application, the nightclub also wants permission to hold six foam party events, with the dozen special nights held sometime in a 12-month period after December 15.

No-one at the club was available for comment yesterday but a spokesman for Suffolk police said: "In principle we do not object to this application as we believe Scott Murray [nightclub company director] works hard to make a success of the club.

"I would like assurances though that these events would be well managed and marshalled."

St Edmundsbury Borough Council's licensing and regulatory committee will discuss the plans on Thursday .

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