Row over adult dancing club lands in Pickles’s lap

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The Local Government Secretary is being asked to intervene over Leeds City Council’s efforts to close a lapdancing club.

The owner of Wildcats in The Headrow has asked Eric Pickles to investigate why Leeds City Council is spending money on legal action to close it when the authority is having to make major cuts and put up council tax bills. But the authority has insisted it is only defending itself against legal action brought by Wildcats.

In a letter to Mr Pickles, owner Paul Gourlay says: “The council closed 13 libraries to save £600,000 a year and now faces legal bills that are likely to exceed that sum for an issue that most taxpayers don’t care about. I think this issue deserves an external inquiry on behalf of the taxpayer.”

Wildcats was one of three lapdancing clubs to lose its licence last year after the council drew up new rules about where they could open and the maximum number permissible.

A judge has ruled Wildcats should be allowed to stay open until both sides put their case at a court hearing next month.