Bid to limit Leeds lap dance clubs moves closer

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Moves to slash the number of lap dancing clubs in Leeds have taken a step forward – despite fierce opposition in some quarters.

As reported in the YEP in March, a working group set up by Leeds City Council’s licensing committee has drafted proposals to cap the number of strip venues in Leeds at four – three fewer than currently operate.

It followed a survey of the Leeds Citizens Panel, which found 59 per cent were in favour of a limit.

A formal public consultation has now concluded, with nearly two thirds of the 135 responses supporting the idea.

Among the organisations which gave their backing was Leeds University. Its response said: “The presence of clubs which sexually objectify women as products for consumption in mainstream city centre areas presents a poor image of Leeds.”

Several women’s charities also expressed support. Justice for Women wrote: “Lap dancing clubs normalise the sexual harassment of women.”

However, the council also received several angry objections.

One said: “All in all, the change in policy seems an attempt to placate a bunch of moral campaigners.”

Another said: “This has to be the most lazy, crawling idea that anyone could have come up with.”

Lawyer Paddy Whur, who has represented lap dancing clubs at previous licensing hearings, said opposition to the clubs came from “those with a particular objection to their existence.”

He added: “These objections lack objectivity or evidence to suggest that there is a negative impact caused by their existence.”

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