Licences extended for Leeds lap dancing clubs

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The Licences for two city centre lap dancing clubs have been renewed despite an objection from a sexual violence charity.

Leeds City’s Council’s licensing sub committee gave approval to Liberte and Purple Door on York Place in the city’s business district to operate for a further year.

The renewal was opposed by Leeds-based charity Support After Rape and Sexual Violence, which said “such establishments contribute to the sexual objectification of women” and increased the risk of sexual assault.

But representatives from both clubs said there was no objection from West Yorkshire Police and the terms of their licences had not been breached within the previous year.

Solicitor Paddy Whur, representing Purple Door at the committee, said: “The objection talks about these establishments in general rather than with specific reference to this club.”

Julian Skeens, partner at TLT Solicitors representing Liberte, suggested that the objection was general opposition to “these kind of establishments” and said it was mostly critical of Leeds City Council permitting sexual entertainment in any form rather than enforcing a zero-tolerance approach.

Support After Rape and Sexual Violence also criticised explicit images on signs and menus within Liberte.

Mr Skeens said all of the images referred to were within the club. He said the displays outside the club were not explicit and identified Liberte as a “gentleman’s club”.

In a high-profile change of its regulations in 2013, the council put a cap on the numbers of lap dancing clubs it would allow at any one time. The city centre previously had seven such venues.

Clubs Deep Blue, Wildcats and Red Leopard were closed almost overnight, but Liberte and Purple Door survived the cull.

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