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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Reminder: Artizan St Library new opening times start today

This is just a reminder that following our successful campaign with local residents the new opening hours at Artizan Street Library start today.  Please do spread the word!DbI2z-8XcAI0wNu

 

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/

Labour’s candidate William Campbell-Taylor on why party politics has a place in the City

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William Campbell-Taylor believes Labour councillors get unfair treatment from their peers, and says they should instead be praised for their transparency.

“Many of the Independent City councillors are also Conservative Party members – not to mention Freemasons – and at least one of them is a serving Conservative councillor elsewhere,” said Mr Campbell-Taylor.

“It’s completely fine that they should have political affiliations, of course. What isn’t fine is that they should then pretend they have no political interests.”

Labour caused a stir in March’s City-wide elections when the party increased its influence in the Court of Common Council fivefold.

Now the latest man to run with a red rosette is hoping his public-facing campaign will be enough to help him join the fray and become the first Labour Alderman.

“Many residents are pleased to have the opportunity to support a Labour candidate for Alderman, though it’s also true that party politics isn’t the only consideration when choosing whom to vote for.

“Residents and small businesses want to know that you are on their side, that you will fight their corner.”

Mr Campbell-Taylor can point to a history of holding the local authority to account. In 2001 he successfully campaigned to prevent the Cass Foundation selling off the Sir John Cass’s School site before forcing the City to publish a summary of its private cash accounts in 2011.

“If transparency is a priority for me so too is fairness,” he said. “For example, I want the City to cover free school meals for all children in Year 3 and above at Sir John Cass’s.

When it puts £12million into its private schools I think it can also afford to make sure the children at the City’s only state school get a decent meal during the day.”

Housing is also a minefield the candidate is putting at the top of his agenda, but complete with hard hat, he has pledged to scrutinise Corporation policy, especially after the “Bernard Morgan House calamity”.

“I want to make sure the City meets its commitments to housing Londoners… to build 3,700 new homes by 2025. It can begin by looking after those who already live on the two housing estates in Portsoken, one of which is council run.

“I read that Aldgate is now being billed as ‘the hottest property destination in Europe’, set to generate 20,000 jobs. But how many of those jobs will come to local residents? And how will the residents and small businesses benefit from all this money coming into the area?”

And it isn’t just housing that the Labour candidate thinks the Corporation is under-delivering on. He wants reform that he says will allow the Square Mile to start working for everyone, not just those in big business.

“Because different governments have promoted the liberalisation of the financial services sector, the Corporation decided that it wasn’t in its interests to nail its political colours to the mast.

“Only now, after the crash, is this catching up with the City. People are beginning to see that the City of London, rather than being a state of nature, represents a powerful set of interests. And these interests need to be brought into the daylight. That’s what a Labour group can do; it can shine a light on the interests at work.

“Politics is not a freelance activity – about being a ‘Mighty Me’ independent – it’s about solidarity, people working together and demanding change.”

Mr Campbell-Taylor stated that the growing number of Labour members on the council was evidence of a change in attitudes locally.

“Our new Labour councillors Jason Pritchard and Munsur Ali have shown this in their campaigning work, from making sure that all unlicensed massage parlours are closed down to speaking up for the Rohingya Muslims in the council.

“Now we need more councillors like Jason and Munsur that reflect the mix of the City and theconcerns of ordinary people – and hopefully soon the City’s first Labour Alderman too.”

Source: City Matters

PROMOTED AND PUBLISHED BY PAUL O’BRIEN ON BEHALF OF CITY OF LONDON LABOUR PARTY BOTH OF 106 THOMAS MORE HOUSE BARBICAN LONDON EC2Y 8NJ

Happy 100th Birthday to Labour Portsoken member Mannie Blankett!

Happy birthday to long-standing Labour Portsoken member Mannie Blankett who celebrated his 100th birthday in style this week with well wishes from his sporting and political heroes.

Mannie turned 100 on 18 October, celebrating with parties all over Portsoken, starting with a lavish affair at the Dorsett City Hotel in Aldgate, followed by an afternoon of singing and dancing with his friends at community centre Toynbee Hall.

The youngest of six children to Polish immigrants, Mannie was born and raised in the East End, and trained to be a hairdresser before going into the family’s furrier business in the West End and spending several summers as a lifeguard for lidos around London.

Speaking with Spitalfields Life last year Mannie said that after a stint in the armed forces during World War II and then the Peace Movement in the 1960s, he returned to the East End and has been living in Petticoat Lane for the last 20 years.

The birthday boy was delighted to receive his customary card from the Queen, as well as surprise well wishes from the Tottenham Hotspur first team and a special personal address from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Portsoken councillors Jason Pritchard and Munsur Ali presented Mannie with a signed Labour manifesto and a video message from the Labour leader during a party at Toynbee Hall, which Mannie attends three times a week for activities and social events. It was a packed house for the community centre’s first 100th birthday party, with around 30 regulars turning up to congratulate Mannie on the milestone and indulge in one of the centre’s most popular activities; a group singalong.

Portsoken councillor Jason Pritchard said: “What an amazing man Mannie is! So honoured to be there on this special day and to get a video message from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wishing Mannie a happy birthday was fantastic. Mannie said it made his day. Thanks to all who helped make this day so special.”

 

City Rose Summer 2017 edition

Here’s our latest Summer edition of the Labour Party City Rose for local residents. To read click here. If you can help deliver, please contact us at labourportsoken@gmail.com

City Rose July

Weekly Doorstep Surgery Dates in June and July

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Now the summertime is here Portsoken Councillors Jason Pritchard and Munsur Ali will be taking their weekly surgery outdoors in the sunshine and visiting residents at their doors over the coming weeks to talk about local issues. Councillor Jason Pritchard says “This will ensure that we are reaching out to everyone in our community and particularly to those residents who have mobility issues and are unable to make it along to the usual fixed location.”

Our next doorstep surgery sessions will be on the following dates and times:

Tuesday 20th June 2017

Mansell Street Estate 17:45 pm – 18:45 pm

Tuesday 27th June 2017

Middlesex Street Estate 17:45 pm – 18:45 pm

Tuesday 4th July 2017

Mansell Street Estate 17:45 pm – 18:45 pm

Monday 10th July 2017

Mansell Street Estate 19:00 pm – 20:00 pm

To make sure Munsur and Jason know to call at your door, you can call them on 07834 342479 /  07930 600325 or email: labourportsoken@gmail.com

IMPORTANT: Please note there will be no surgeries taking place at Artizan Street Library or Portsoken Community Centre during this period. Please be advised this schedule may be subject to change at short notice.