Leeds lap dancing clubs could be slashed by council

The number of lap dancing clubs in the centre of Leeds could be capped under proposals by the city council.

The city's licensing committee is planning to reduce the number of clubs from seven to four after a review last year and public consultation in April.

Leeds North East MP Fabian Hamilton said the venues gave "a very bad message".

One club manager Joanne Julian defended the venues and said they had improved over recent years.

If approved by the council, only four premises will be given licences when all seven come up for renewal.

Last July the city council started a review into its existing policy following "strong public concern" after it granted licenses to all seven establishments, the local authority said.

A new plan was developed earlier this year, which went out to public consultation in March and April.

Not 'seedy dive'

Mr Hamilton said he would welcome a reduction in the number of lap dancing clubs in the city.

"I think it just gives a very bad message to families and the people that use our city centre day in and day out.

"We're saying that this is the only sort of entertainment that will give us economic activity. It cannot be right in my mind."

Ms Julian, who has run lap dancing clubs in West Yorkshire for 10 years, said the venues attracted both men and women and were not "seedy".

"There's been a 20% rise in female visitors to these premises currently," she said. "There's more and more openness about them.

"They're more of an entertainment venue then a seedy dive. It's not just for the men any more, gangs of girls are coming in - they're having hen parties."

The proposal is due to be discussed by the licensing committee at a meeting on Tuesday. It is expected to be referred to the council's executive board for approval in August.

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