STRIP clubs have been permanently banned by a Scottish council – in what is thought to be the first move of its kind.
East Lothian council’s crackdown also covers lap dancing, peep shows and live sex shows.
The area does not presently have any “Sexual Entertainment Venues” but councillors have taken a legal to move to prevent any opening in future.
Councillors said the venues were “not the sort of thing” they want in their area.
Local authorities are now required either to ban SEVs or regulate them, a job which used to be done by the Scottish Government.
Others have said it will take much-needed business away from high streets, and that people should be “allowed to do what they want.”
East Lothian councillors unanimously voted in the ban during a licensing committee meeting in Haddington on Thursday (FEB 15).
Some locals have disagreed with East Lothian’s ban, joking that councillors will now have to “head to Edinburgh to claim expenses”.
An Edinburgh stripper, 22, who asked not to be named, said: “I think personally it’s bulls*** people wanting rid of them because when it comes to stag parties that’s what guys tend to do to for a laugh, get dances and have fun.
“There is no harm in any of it. You can go to Amsterdam and s*** a prostitute for 50 quid, it’s just mental.
“Strip clubs are also very strict when it comes to guys trying to touch the girls so it’s not like it’s a seedy business or anything.”
A lawyer giving evidence to the sub-committee said: “You have got to make a decision on whether we want to bring in licensing for these venues or make the declaration – we do not want to have them in our authority.”
Councillor John Williamson then told the licensing sub-committee: “On Sexual Entertainment Venues I say, just say, ‘No’.
“We discussed what potential places could be, strip clubs and lap dancing. We think Edinburgh and Glasgow have got them all.
“The general consensus was that it’s not the sort of thing we want to have in East Lothian.”
The council then voted unanimously to ban “sexual entertainment venues”, but locals have accused them of hyprocrisy.
Obe Woodhead joked: “All the councillors will just have to go to Edinburgh and claim expenses now.”
While Stuart Walckzak-Gillies added: “I’m sorry but unless there’s big neon signs out the front what harm would it do anyone? I bet most of the councillors have been to places like this anyway.
“Though I have to admit if I was to go to something like this I would probably do it in another county, not my own.”
One worker on Haddington’s high street, who asked to be referred to only as Barry, said: “I think people should be able to do what they want. All the ban is doing is taking business away from East Lothian.”
There are currently around 12 “sexual entertainment venues” in Scotland –
including venues that host lap dancing, strip shows, peep shows and live sex shows.
Edinburgh’s infamous “pubic triangle”, which hosts three strip clubs, is located less than 200 meters from St Catherine’s convent and only a 40 minute drive from East Lothian.
Sex shops like Ann Summers are safe from the licensing ban, as are venues hosting “sexual entertainment nights” less than five times in a year – meaning East Lothian hens and stags will still be able to hire strippers.
And, as well as deciding whether or not to ban strip clubs and similar venues from their area, Scottish councils can now put a limit on the number of venues they allow to pop up on the high street.
If councillors don’t put a ban nor legislation is put into place, then the venues would be out of council control – allowing any number to be opened in the area.
A spokeswoman for East Lothian council said: “East Lothian Council decided to make the resolution on the basis that East Lothian has never had a Sex Entertainment Venue or received an application for one and that it was unlikely to in the future.”
Renfrewshire council came under fire when they used public money to give a fresh new look to strip venue ‘Tigers’ back in 2016.
The council allocated £15,000 to the works on the high street – including providing a new sign for the showdancing club.
The decision caused controversy with locals when they discovered the adult-only venue’s re-brand had come from the public purse.
Haddington, where East Lothian Council has its headquarters, is famous as the birthplace of John Knox, the 16th Century protestant preacher notorious for his misogynistic view of women.
Knox wrote: “Woman in her greatest perfection was made to serve and obey man, not to rule and command him.”
East Lothian is, however, home to the Forth Naturists Club, also based in Haddington, whose activities incude a nude swim on the first and third Sundays of each month.