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Blackpool To Close All Lap Dancing Bars To Become More Family-Friendly

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Blackpool To Close All Lap Dancing Bars To Become More Family-Friendly

Leaders in Blackpool are working to close the town's lap dancing clubs.

In a move to help make the area more of a family-friendly destination, councillors are hoping to see all four of its lap dancing establishments shut their doors in the coming years.

Councillor Adrian Hutton, the chair of the licensing committee, is heading up plans to see an end to the adult venues.

However, rather than forcing bars and clubs to close, the council is opting for a more subtle approach.

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When one of the venues' loses its licence under the current owner, the council will not further any other application for a similar use.

Councillor Hutton told Sky News: "We've been looking at changes in Blackpool for a number of years. We used to - we still do to some extent, but not as much - suffer from the stag and hen nights.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"And, obviously, lap dancing clubs are used by young men and some older ones when they come to Blackpool for their stag nights.

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"That has decreased considerably through the council's effort to get hoteliers and restaurants and things like that to stop catering specifically for stag and hen nights.

"[The decision to close the clubs] came about because other councils had been looking at lap dancing clubs and we looked at it and thought, 'Do they actually sit with Blackpool as a family tourist resort?' The decision that we came to was no, they don't."

However, despite the desire among councillors to see an end to the clubs, a series of sudden, forced closures was deemed not to be possible.

"We came up with the proposal that rather than just arbitrarily closing them, that we would hope that over years that they would just diminish because of the lack of trade," explained Councillor Hutton.

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"The decision had been made that when a lap dancing establishment ceases to trade under their existing management or owners, then we would not renew the licence for anybody who came along.

"The other thing was that if in the course of anything going wrong in any particular lap dancing club, that we were to revoke the licence and we would not allow that one to reopen."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

He added: "At the moment it's a softly softly approach, so that over the next two or three years we can reduce lap dancing clubs to zero."

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If these measures do not work, Coun Hutton said, the procedure would be reviewed and further action taken if possible.

However, the move has been criticised by performers and dancers, who argue that clubs have no negative impact.

Toni Mansell, who has worked as a stripper for a decade, told Sky News: "There is no reason why adult entertainment and family-friendly entertainment can't exist [together].

"We're not asking anyone to put a topless bar in the middle of Disneyland."

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Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: council, Blackpool, Politics

Dominic Smithers
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