Ban on more lap-dancing clubs in city

A local authority has banned any further lap-dancing clubs from being set up in its area.

Portsmouth City Council had considered ridding the Hampshire city of all “sex establishments” but following protests from lapdancers and other employees of clubs, the authority’s licensing committee opted for a policy which prevents further clubs being opened.

Sixty five people, including lapdancers, bouncers, bar staff and other workers, protested outside Portsmouth Guildhall ahead of yesterday’s meeting.

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They waved banners saying “Save our jobs” and “Listen to our voice, it’s our choice”.

John-Cortin Fernandez, general manager of the Elegance and Wiggle clubs in Southsea, said an outright ban would lead to dozens of people losing their jobs.

He said: “Nobody is forced to work there, everyone wants to work there. They are happy with the situation, they get good money and flexible work.”

Committee chairman Les Stevens said: “Our decision was to agree a policy where the number of current sex establishments premises were sufficient for the city and when considering any new applications there would have to be very persuasive argument to agree to any more.”