East Devon MP welcomes Government move to change lap dancing club laws

PUBLISHED: 13:14 04 December 2008 | UPDATED: 14:44 09 April 2010

East Devon MP Hugo Swire has welcomed government plans to reform the licensing of lap dancing clubs - unveiled in yesterday's Queen's Speech.

East Devon MP Hugo Swire has welcomed government plans to reform the licensing of lap dancing clubs - unveiled in yesterday's Queen's Speech.

The East Devon MP had written to home secretary Jacqui Smith MP having received a number of letters from concerned constituents in Exmouth about the Q Club being granted a licence for lap dancing.

Mr Swire said: "At the time, it caused considerable disquiet in the community as it represented something entirely new and many of my constituents told me they considered this form of entertainment to be totally inappropriate to a town such as Exmouth.

"I was concerned at the time that the local authority appeared to be unable to prevent such a licence being granted under the Licensing Act 2003, which is why I felt it necessary to express my concerns to the Home Secretary. Obviously I was not the only MP making these approaches.

"I welcome this measure which will empower local communities to decide where and if a lap dancing club should open in their area. "For too long the balance has been tipped in favour of industry operators and has prevented local people from having their rightful say in the licensing of lap dancing clubs.

"Changing the law will allow for a greater range of factors to be considered, including the impact that lap dancing clubs have on gender relations in a community."

The Government plans to reform legislation so lap dancing clubs are licensed with a Sex Encounter Establishment.

This will enable local authorities to apply greater controls and restrictions to lap dancing clubs, and will give local people a greater say in licensing processes.


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