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Union to crowd fund judicial review challenges of council strip club bans across UK

A sex worker's union, which is raising funds to launch a judicial review against Edinburgh City Council over a blanket strip club ban, has said it wishes to fund similar legal challenges across the UK.

The union, United Sex Workers (USW), claims that Edinburgh's implementation of a ban on sexual entertainment venues (SEVs) is in breach of the Equality Act 2010.

USW argues that SEV bans are unlawful "as they discriminate against women and other marginalised groups, such as people with disabilities and migrants, who make up the majority of strippers".

It also raised concerns that bans may force sex workers to work in unlicensed environments without security and could create environments "ripe for exploitation".

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In a statement posted to Twitter, the union claimed if it wins its challenge against Edinburgh, "all councils considering a nil-cap policy (we're looking at you @BristolCouncil) will have to admit a ban is unlawful. This has HUGE potential for ending strip club bans across Scotland, England & Wales."

Edinburgh's ban is instituted under the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015, which adds new sections to the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, enabling Scottish local authorities to introduce a discretionary licensing system for SEVs.

In March, Edinburgh's Regulatory Committee agreed on a 'nil-cap' on SEVs, effectively establishing a blanket ban on the businesses.

The union has received £12,000 in donations on its crowdfunding page, with a goal of £20,000 in funding for its case against Edinburgh.

Bristol City Council has been mulling its own SEV ban for more than a year, which the USW has raised concerns over.

The union said it hopes to raise a further £20,000 to distribute funds to any future legal costs towards the ongoing SEV nil-cap debate in Bristol.

Adam Carey

Sponsored Editorial

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