Lapdancing clubs face government crackdown

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LAPDANCING bars will be restricted or banned altogether under a Scottish Government plan to crack down on the sex industry.
The SNP wants to allow councils to impose tough new restriction on the number of bars in their area amid concern they degrade women and are linked to organised crime and prostitution.
Existing premises could even be closed down and some council areas made free of lap dancing bars under the plan.
Edinburgh's "pubic triangle" is a must-do for many stag weekends but Sandra White MSP says the industry exploits and demeans women. Pic: Google Street View

 

Glasgow MPS Sandra White is understood to have the government’s backing for a member’s bill that would introduce a tough new licensing system.

At present, clubs only need a standard public entertainment licence similar to concert venues and gyms.
SNP politician White tried and failed once before to control lap dancing clubs.
She recently held talks with justice secretary Kenny MacAskill about a second attempt at a crackdown.
She said: “I think it is exploitative and very demeaning to women and it has been very clear from the previous attempt to change the law to push this through that the majority of people, certainly in my part of Glasgow, are in favour of new legislation to stop these clubs.”
She added: “There has been a proliferation of these around Scotland and people don’t want them.
“And when you think about us coming up to the Commonwealth Games, the fact is that Glasgow has changed so much in the last 10 years.
“It’s a vibrant city and we want to encourage people to live in the city and worry that they are going to be living around the corner from this type of entertainment.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “The justice secretary has recently met Sandra White to discuss the issue and remains keen to ensure local licensing authorities can properly regulate this activity.
“We will be looking closely at how best this can be achieved.”
Exploitation
Glasgow council claims sex is sold in some clubs and believes lap dancing is a form of sexual exploitation.
The city has lobbied Holyrood for some years to take action.
But lapdancing clubs are a booming industry throughout the UK. The number of clubs has doubled to 300 in the past eight years and the business is worth £2.1bn.
Clubs have warned that cracking down on their industry could result in massive job losses.
Despite that, lap dancing clubs south of the border have been put on a par with sex shops and adult cinemas by requiring them to have a sexual entertainment licence.
Councils in England have also been given powers to stop lapdancing clubs opening near schools or in otherwise quiet areas.

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