Blackpool set to BAN lap dancing clubs in bid to cut violence

Blackpool BANS lap dancing bars as councillors say move will cut violence towards women and make seaside resort family friendly

  • Blackpool councillors have been asked to allow one sex shop to trade in the town
  • Plans to cut number of sex venues as Blackpool Council say is is ‘family town’
  • Four existing clubs would remain open until their licence comes up for renewal

Blackpool councillors are set to discuss a ban on lap dancing bars as they believe it will cut violence towards women and make the seaside town more family friendly. 

Plans due to be discussed next Tuesday will see a new policy for the Lancashire resort, allowing only one sex shop to trade, while setting a zero limit on lap dancing clubs.

Four existing clubs would be allowed to continue operating, but once their licences lapse for any reason they would not be renewed.

There were thought to be around 13 lap dancing venues across Blackpool in the mid-2000s, but numbers have dwindled in recent years. 

In 2019 Eden One, one of the last venues standing, was briefly stripped of its sex entertainment licence after a 25-year-old man suffered second degree burns. 

Blackpool Council’s licencing committee is set to a limit of zero on new lap dance clubs in the town next week, with the four remaining clubs only allowed to stay open until their licences lapse

The punter, who was visiting on stag do, was torched by a dancer who was wielding an aerosol can and a lighter.

The club’s licence was reinstated in January 2020, the Blackpool Gazette reported.

Plans to be discussed at Blackpool Council’s Licencing Committee next Tuesday will tighten existing regulations around sex venues.  

Licensing chiefs say the move better reflects Blackpool’s aim to be a family resort, and the council’s support of the White Ribbon campaign to reduce violence towards women. 

The council’s licensing chairman Cllr Adrian Hutton said: ‘We are a family town and some of the things that have gone on are not according to the rules.

‘There have been complaints from members of the public which we have had to deal with.

‘We’re not against people coming to Blackpool and having a good time, but there is an element that causes problems and this is a way to reduce that.

‘A lot of thought has gone into this to come up with a policy which helps the town.’

Members of the council’s licensing committee are being asked to agree to reduce the number of permitted sex shops from the current two, down to one.

A council report adds as ‘a White Ribbon accredited authority, Blackpool Council is working towards setting a zero limit on the number of sexual entertainment venues (lap dancing clubs).

Eden One is among the last of Blackpool’s lap dance clubs. It was able to reopen in January last year, after a dancer accidentally gave a punter second degree burns while holding an aerosol can and a lighter

‘Previously the number of sexual entertainment venues (SEVs) was set as four. Working towards the White Ribbon aims, it is proposed that the number of SEVs be reduced to zero with an exception being made for those four premises currently licensed.’

Clubs are currently closed under Covid restrictions, but once they reopen, they would be re-licensed providing they comply with legislation and licence conditions.

However once a licence lapses, is revoked, surrendered, or otherwise not renewed, the grandfather rights would be lost.

New applications would still be considered but with the zero policy in place, it would be much more difficult to have a licence granted.

Other changes within the revised policy include tighter controls over how dances are paid for, and a ban on dancers taking mobile phones into performance areas.

CCTV must be able to store recordings for a minimum of 21 days.

The policy, which was last revised in 2016, will go before the council’s licensing committee on Tuesday January 19 for consideration. 

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