HC Deb 24 July 1981 vol 9 c726 9.36 am
Mr. Anthony Steen (Liverpool, Wavertree)

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, and that of the House, I wish to present a petition by the Sex Shop Action Committee of Liverpool, whose members are outraged by the proliferation of sex shops throughout the country, and especially by the recent opening of one in the quiet and secluded residential area of Wavertree, and seek action from this House in outlawing this and other shops engaged in this kind of activity.

With your leave, Mr. Speaker, I shall read the petition. It is as follows: To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. The humble petition of we, the undersigned sheweth That sex shops are now being opened in towns and cities throughout the length and breadth of the land causing great offence and concern to the right-thinking members of society. That a private firm already claims to be engaged in a multi-million pound expansion programme to establish a chain of at least 100 sex shops throughout the United Kingdom. That such shops sell pornographic literature, large coloured posters of a lewd and indecent nature, obscene articles used to stimulate sexual activity and encourage sexual perversions, films and videotapes showing explicit sexual scenes, perversion and sexual violence. That such shops offer contact service for prostitution and sodomy. That the presence of these shops is highly offensive and 1. are a temptation and a danger to young persons who become the victims of pornography; 2. are an insult to young children who see obscene posters through open doors of such shops; 3. attract people of undesirable repute to the areas of the shops; 4. are a source of evil which damages respect for womanhood, degrading the sanctity of the sexual relationship within marriage and undermining family life. That the local authorities have no power to control the spread of such shops, as the planning authorities with their very wide powers to control such things as the siting of tripe shops and the building of verandahs to private dwellings are impotant when comes to preventing the springing up of such sex shops. Whereof your petitioners humbly pray that your honourable House will immediately amend the Town and Country Planning (Use Clauses) Order 1972, Statutory Instrument 1385, under the Town and Country Planning Act 1971, by increasing the number of classes therein referred to as those shops exclusively and predominantly engaged in the sale and hire of pornographic magazines, sexual appurtenances, marital aids and the like, and your petitioners are duty bound and will ever pray.

To lie upon the Table.

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