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COUNCIL RECEIVES COMMISSIONED REPORT ON LAP DANCING ESTABLISHMENTS

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The study on lap dancing establishments, commissioned by Glasgow City Council has been received and is being studie...
The study on lap dancing establishments, commissioned by Glasgow City Council has been received and is being studied by officials.

To view the report as a pdf, click here.

The study was requested to support the council's concerns about lap dancing and table dancing which it believes demeans and exploits women and is linked to sexual violence. The council is objecting to two lap dancing entertainment licence applications and will be presenting its case at a continued Glasgow Licensing Board meeting on 20 August (the meeting was continued from June to allow time to hear the objections).

The research, costing£7,000 was conducted by Julie Bindel, a researcher from London Metropolitan University's Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit. The unit has a national and international reputation for research in the field of violence against women and is renowned for its work on the issues of prostitution, commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking.

There are four lap dancing clubs already in Glasgow - Diamond Dolls, Legs n Co, The Truffle Club and Seventh Heaven.

The key findings in the report were:

* evidence of exploitation of women - financial, sexual and employment conditions

expectation of those visiting lap dancing establishments that sexual services are available

* general disapproval of such 'entertainment' by general public, women's organisations and other businesses

* perceived negative impact on neighbourhoods and on women's feelings of safety

Jim Coleman, deputy leader of Glasgow City Council, said:

'I welcome this report, which is the first study of its kind to examine the nature of lap dancing ventures. It exposes the myths of up-market harmless fun provided to lonely businessmen, the perception of well run, luxurious gentlemen's clubs and dancers making loads of money. What we see in the findings of this report is women being exploited in a number of ways - sexually, financially and through very poor employment conditions.

'A really telling quote is from the owner talking about 'running girls'. He says 'They're like cats - more intelligent than you think, but sly with it. Mind you treat them well and they'll stick with you.' He illustrates what these clubs are all about - men objectifying women and demeaning them on every level. This kind of thinking sets gender equality back years.

'I know from my mail that these establishments are not wanted by many sections of the general public who feel that they negatively affect attitudes towards women, undermine women's feelings of safety and act as magnets for men seeking sexual services.

'This council has taken a stand against the proliferation of such venues in the belief that they exploit and demean women and hamper our bid to promote gender equality. Under the current legislation lap dancing is seen in the same light as karaoke, live music and discotheque. This can't be right! This report clearly shows that they are organised and promoted as sex establishments and viewed as such by customers and public. I call on the Scottish Executive again to consider this matter seriously and in line with their policy on violence against women, which includes sexual exploitation and prostitution, and to provide local authorities with the powers to more adequately control and regulate these activities.'

Regarding the board meeting this Friday, Gordon Macdiarmid, convener of Glasgow Licensing Board said:

'The board meeting on Friday is to hear the two applications continued from the last Board meeting in June.

'As the report was not part of the council's original objections to the applications, it cannot be used as part of the argument by the council. Further any material contained within the report cannot refer to the two premises under consideration and is therefore irrelevant in terms of the 1976 Act.

'However, the board will examine the report and consider whether a policy meeting should be held to discuss the contents. If conditions were to be added to this kind of application in future, the board would need to give notice.'

Notes

The two applications to be heard on Friday at the board meeting are:

23-29 Royal Exchange Square, (formerly Mas), Privilege Glasgow Ltd,

Basement - 307-309 Argyle Street, For your Eyes Only

Glasgow Licensing Board is a statutory body in its own right, separate from Glasgow City Council

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