Hush lap dance bid approved by Highland Licensing Board

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A nightclub has been granted permission by a licensing board to host lap dancing.

The bid by Hush in Inverness was opposed by Highland Violence Against Women Strategy Group.

It raised concerns about the exploitation of women and claimed the activity could increase crime.

A report to Highland Licensing Board said the nightclub has a trouble-free operating history and a high standard of compliance with licensing rules.

Vulnerable women

Permissions for the holding of adult entertainment have been granted in the past to nine other venues in the Highlands. These have included one-off events.

The Highland Violence Against Women Strategy Group includes representatives from the police, NHS Highland, Highland Council, Women's Aid and Rape and Abuse Line.

The group said the move would put vulnerable women at greater risk of abuse, and raise the threat of crime and disorder in the city.

Tony Cochrane, who runs Private Eyes lap dancing club in Aberdeen, has been working with the owners of Hush on the proposed new business.

Ahead of the licensing committee meeting, he said he understood and respected the views of the Highland Violence Against Women Strategy Group.

Mr Cochrane added that allowing lap dancing would not lead to a rise in crime or disorder.

Following the board meeting, convener Maxine Smith said she was disappointed by the decision but added that the bid had to be judged against licensing rules.

Ms Smith said Hush's plan did not breach licensing objectives.

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