COCKTAILS Ltd has recently applied to renew its licence to run a sex-shop in Toll Bar Way, Sawtry, which expired on March 31. Along with others, I have registered my vehement objection to the renewal.

It is an outrage that the first licence was ever approved, since there were ample reasons within the legislation that would have justified Huntingdonshire District Council's turning down Cocktails' application.

Central Government made it very clear that such establishments should not be permitted if it was against the wish of local residents, which was abundantly demonstrated by a 1,500-strong petition, an unprecedented 500-plus written objections, and letters in the local press. Furthermore, our MP, our district councillor and our parish council all objected strongly.

In fact, the campaign against Cocktails Ltd in Sawtry in 2010 might possibly be the strongest they have ever encountered anywhere. We provided HDC with a golden opportunity to halt the devastating onslaught of Europe's biggest sex-shop enterprise.

But all the outcry was to no avail, as in December 2010, HDC said 'yes' to a business from outside this area, but 'no' to local people'; 'yes' to multi-million pound greed, but 'no' to the values of ordinary people with few resources at their defence; 'yes' to those who self-evidently have precious little regard for the community, but 'no' to those who care passionately about their village; 'yes' to hedonism, lust, lewdness and vulgarity, but 'no' to decency, propriety, respect and dignity.

One of Cocktails' sickening slogans is: "Those who play together, stay together", implying that they are somehow providing a service to the stability of relationships and marriage by marketing the hardest-core pornography available under UK law.

In my estimation, for every couple Cocktails help to stay together, there are untold countless relationships that are marred or destroyed by the pernicious evil of pornography.

Rather than encouraging mutual value and appreciation, hard-core pornography demeans and humiliates: it poisons the mind and reduces a precious living soul to a mere slab of flesh.

If you have no sense of smell and you are blind, then you probably wouldn't mind having a refuse tip near your home. Likewise, if you have no sense of decency and you are morally or spiritually blind, then you probably wouldn't care about a sex-shop in your village.

The fact that HDC felt no cause to object to a sex-shop in Sawtry is a damning condemnation of their lack of integrity and a sad refection on the state of our nation.

Indeed, a society that thinks it's OK to make money out of selling lewd images and hard-core pornographic film is sick indeed. But one that esteems the likes of Cocktails' sex-shop business above the time-honoured family-supporting values of integrity, morality, faithfulness and community is desperately perverse.

JOHN C P SMITH

Ashdale Close

Sawtry