Portsmouth lap-dancing club ban idea shelved

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Some of the protesters
Image caption,
Lap-dancers, bouncers, bar staff and other workers, protested before the meeting

Portsmouth's four lap-dancing clubs will not be closed down, but the city's council has said no more licences will be granted for similar venues.

Councillors met earlier to decide whether the city was an appropriate place for the clubs.

They voted to keep the "status quo" but not to grant any more licences.

Club managers argued that they were not breaking any laws and had helped lower crime due to the presence of their door staff.

The vote comes following a six-week consultation amid concern about the effect of sex entertainment venues on the city.

Lap-dancers, bouncers, bar staff and other workers protested outside Portsmouth Guildhall before the meeting.

They waved banners saying "Save our jobs" and "Listen to our voice, it's our choice".

'Better money'

Councillor Terry Hall, who wanted a total ban, said: "I don't think Portsmouth is the right place because we're a very densely populated city.

"There's nowhere in the city that isn't close to a church or a mosque or a school or residential area and I don't think this is the right place for them."

Wiggle club manager Paul Ojla said: "The girls do this job because they want to do the job - they're not forced into it by any means.

Image caption,
Lap-dancer Tanya said she enjoyed her work

"They earn better money here than anywhere else and the hours are flexible."

Wiggle dancer Tanya said she enjoyed coming to work as it was where all her friends were and they were like "a family".

The consultation attracted 3,425 responses - 1,672 of which were from outside the city. The council said 97% of all the respondents were against a total ban on the clubs.