Bristol could be largest city in England and Wales to BAN lapdancing as Labour council mulls plans after probing link between venues and harassment of women
- Councillors voted in favour of potentially limited the number of the clubs to zero
- A dancer at one of the two venues in Bristol says it will push clubs underground
- Cllr said they ‘can’t ignore the violence against women’ caused by men at clubs
Bristol is set to become the biggest city across England and Wales to ban lapdancing over fears of links between the venues and violence towards women.
Proposals are being consulted by the city’s council after a vote by the licensing committee last Monday.
They will now ask residents and groups about limiting the number of lapdancing clubs to zero in the city, which would wipe out hundreds of jobs.
The clubs claim the move will wipe out jobs while some councillors claim there is a link between them and violence against women
Bristol Live reported Cllr Richard Eddy saying: ‘We are asked not to give our taste, our moral view, whether we believe these sorts of clubs should exist, we are asked to weigh up the crime statistics and the evidence and say if we believe there is a link.
‘The existing clubs are well run and well regulated, so I can’t see evidence that we should drop the cap to nil.’
Margaret Hickman, leader of the ruling Labour group, added: ‘Casual street harassment of women and domestic homicide are some of the biggest issues Bristol has to deal with.
‘We can’t ignore the violence against women that is perpetrated by people who attend these venues.’
Bristol currently has two lapdancing clubs, the Urban Tiger and Central Chambers.
Ahead of the vote Central Chambers wrote on its Facebook page: ‘Let’s hope the councillors vote against the nil cap on International Women’s Day and do not put hundreds of women out of work.’
Dancer Jessica Risque said in a post: ‘We do not need someone to say they have control over what is right for me to do with my body.
‘They have not taken into consideration how this will affect a lot of people.
Dancers from the city say the move will make clubs less regulated as they will move underground
‘If you think you can take this away from a bunch of consenting adults who do provide sexy entertainment, who are there a lot of the time to support and give therapy and show someone escapism from their lives they lead, you are not going to get rid of sex workers by closing these places down.
‘You are going to push it underground, you are going to make it so it is less regulated.
‘It’s incredibly distasteful.’
In January Blackpool councillors were also set to discuss a ban on lap dancing bars as they believe it will cut violence towards women and make the seaside town more family friendly.
The plans would mean see a new policy for the Lancashire resort, allowing only one sex shop to trade, while setting a zero limit on lap dancing clubs.
Four existing clubs would be allowed to continue operating, but once their licences lapse for any reason they would not be renewed.
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