IslingtonTribune

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West End nightclubs in ‘discrimination’ probe

Council asks for ‘first-hand accounts’ of problems with admissions policies at venues

10 December, 2018 — By Jane Clinton

Task group chairman Iain Bott: ‘Discrimination has no place in our nightclubs, and the council is determined to do everything in our power to keep our nightlife inclusive and vibrant’

WESTMINSTER Council has called on people who have faced discrimination in the area’s nightclubs to send in their experiences in a bid to stamp it out.

In June this year anecdotal reports surfaced of some night­­­clubs in the West End having discriminatory admission policies.

One club was accused of charging double the entry charge for black customers but the venue denied allegations of racism. And in another incident a size-10 woman claimed she and her friends were turned away from a club in Fitzrovia because they were “too big” and did not have the “look the club wanted”.

The club denied the allegations.

As part of the council’s response to these reports, the cabinet member for public protection and licensing requested that the city management and public protection policy and scrutiny committee carry out an investigation into inclusion in the evening and night-time economy.

Now the council hopes to gather enough first-hand evidence to “build a new strategy” to combat these issues in the night-time economy which could lead to, among other measures, new recommendations drawn up for clubs and staff.

The call for people to write about their experiences will be looked at by the council’s inclusion task group led by Cllr Iain Bott.

While the investigation will cover all of the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010, it is likely that the focus will be on age, disability, race, sex and sexual orientation. The task group’s work is separate to the work of the council’s hate crime commission.

Cllr Bott said: “Discrimination has no place in our nightclubs, and the council is determined to do everything in our power to keep our nightlife inclusive and vibrant.

“I would like to urge everyone to tell us their stories. To really understand this issue we need first-hand accounts along with expert testimony, and these stories will help us build a more welcoming night out for everyone.”

People have until April 2019 to send in their experiences of discrimination in Westminster nightclubs to the email scrutiny2@westminster.gov.uk

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