Middlesex Street massage parlour fined thousands for license breach following Labour pressure

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A Middlesex Street massage parlour has been fined thousands of pounds for breaching its license after claims it was offering services of a sexual nature.

The owners of Health One at 66 Middlesex Street were ordered to pay £3175 in fines and court costs last month after Thames Magistrate’s Court found them guilty of breaching the special treatment license granted by Tower Hamlets.

Late last year, another massage parlour at 66 Middlesex Street was shut down when the City Corporation won a claim to forfeit its lease over claims it breached the terms of the lease by offering massage services.

And Tower Hamlets licensing chiefs voted to deny a special treatment license for a Gunthorpe Street parlour last week after council officers discovered evidence of sexual favours being touted in exchange for cash.

The crackdown comes off the back of a local petition demanding tougher regulations to prevent the area turning into “a red light district”.

Portsoken councillor and Middlesex Street Estate resident Jason Pritchard said he would be pushing for Tower Hamlets to shut the business down.

“What is going on here is so blatant,” he said. “As residents we don’t want to see these activities on our doorstep. We want Tower Hamlets to revoke their licence.”

Source: City Matters

See also: https://portsokenlabour.wordpress.com/2017/03/10/labour-launches-petition-for-massage-parlour-investigation-in-both-city-and-tower-hamlets/

https://portsokenlabour.wordpress.com/2017/04/12/councillor-pritchard-delivers-on-massage-petition/

https://portsokenlabour.wordpress.com/2017/04/30/update-on-massage-parlours/

https://portsokenlabour.wordpress.com/2017/12/13/middlesex-street-massage-parlour-shut-down-after-labour-petition-sparks-investigation/

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Beyond the Streets is a national charity working to build routes out of sexual exploitation for women. All funds raised from their guided tours support their Door of Hope project, which offers routes out of sexual exploitation for women in East London. To find out more visit:

https://portsokenlabour.wordpress.com/2018/07/14/a-hidden-history-of-women-in-the-east-end-the-alternative-jack-the-ripper-tour/

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Middlesex Street massage parlour shut down after Labour petition sparks investigation

The petition was initiated by Portsoken common councillors Jason Pritchard and Munsur Ali, who said there were growing concerns over the proliferation of the massage parlour trade in and around Middlesex Street, which forms part of the City’s boundary with Tower Hamlets.

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A Middlesex Street massage parlour investigated over claims it was offering sexual services has been shut down after the City Corporation won a claim to forfeit its lease last week.

Red Peony Ltd, which occupied a shop directly underneath the Middlesex Street Estate, was among six massage parlours inspected by Corporation officers earlier this year following a local petition demanding tougher regulations to stop the area from turning into “a red light district”.

The Mayor’s and City of London Court made an order for possession of the property at 77 Middlesex Street last Thursday in a hearing that lasted less than five minutes. Representatives for Red Peony Ltd did not appear, although Companies House has Chinese national Xiaoqin Song listed as director.

A spokesperson for Red Peony denied the closure was linked to the investigations.

“That might be true for other businesses in the area, but in our case the building did not have the license to carry out treatments so we had to close.”

A spokesperson for the City Corporation said: “Red Peony breached the terms of its commercial lease by providing massages on the premises.

“Providing any kind of massage services on the premises by the tenant was outside the scope of the uses permitted under the terms of the lease.”

Online forum ukpunting.com highlights two establishments at Nos. 66 and 77 Middlesex Street as offering “extra” services of a sexual nature in posts as recent as December 2016.

City licensing officers conducted widespread inspections of businesses operating in the area, and although a report published in August revealed no contraventions of the law, further investigations into Red Peony’s trading practices revealed a breach of license.

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L to R: Portsoken Councillor Jason Pritchard, Jeremy Simons (Deputy Chairman) of Port Health & Environmental Services Committee, Portsoken Councillor Munsur Ali

The petition was initiated by Portsoken common councillors Jason Pritchard and Munsur Ali, who said there were growing concerns over the proliferation of the massage parlour trade in and around Middlesex Street, which forms part of the City’s boundary with Tower Hamlets.

Tower Hamlets also ramped up investigations, with a spokesperson confirming several cases had been referred for formal consideration for legal proceedings.

The owners of Relax Studio on Gunthorpe Street will plead their case before Tower Hamlets’ licensing committee this Thursday, despite multiple objections from officers whose investigations revealed “services of a sexual nature were being offered at the premises in return for money.”

Cllr Pritchard said he was pleased the City had acted “fairly swiftly” on the back of the petition.

“This demonstrates that when residents come together on local issues we can get a result.”

Source: City Matters

See also: https://portsokenlabour.wordpress.com/2017/03/10/labour-launches-petition-for-massage-parlour-investigation-in-both-city-and-tower-hamlets/

https://portsokenlabour.wordpress.com/2017/04/12/councillor-pritchard-delivers-on-massage-petition/

https://portsokenlabour.wordpress.com/2017/04/30/update-on-massage-parlours/

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Beyond the Streets is a national charity working to build routes out of sexual exploitation for women. All funds raised from their guided tours support their Door of Hope project, which offers routes out of sexual exploitation for women in East London. To find out more visit:

https://portsokenlabour.wordpress.com/2018/07/14/a-hidden-history-of-women-in-the-east-end-the-alternative-jack-the-ripper-tour/

Deadline extended for Middlesex Street Estate security survey

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Following a fantastic response to our recent Middlesex Street Estate security survey we have decided to extend the deadline and to keep the survey open online until June 2017. If you haven’t taken the survey and you live on the Middlesex Street Estate please do take a moment to give us your feedback by clicking here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XXF5H26

Many thanks

Jason Pritchard and Munsur Ali

Common Councilman for Portsoken ward

 

Residents petition forces City of London to take action over massage parlours on Middlesex Street

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Massage parlour on Middlesex Street

Local newspaper City Matters reports on residents massage petition and City action: http://www.citymatters.london/city-of-london-to-investigate-middlesex-street-massage-parlours/

Reminder: Come and join our Middlesex St Estate walkabout this Thursday 6pm

Come join our Middlesex St Estate Residents Estate Walkabout this Thursday 11th May 6pm. Meeting point: Artizan St Library. Focus on

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Update on Massage Parlours

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A Committee report has now been published on the City of London website in response to the massage parlour petition handed in last week by Portsoken Councillors Jason Pritchard and Munsur Ali. The report entitled ‘Enforcement Action taken against non-compliant massage parlours and sex establishments’ has been prepared by the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection Peter Davenport and will now be considered by Port Health & Environmental Services Committee members at their meeting on the 9th May. To read the report in full please click below:

Public reports pack 09th-May-2017 13.45 Port Health Environmental Services Committee – Massage Parlours