Wales

Wrexham lap-dancing plans rejected to avoid 'no-go zone'

XS bar on Abbot Street Image copyright Google
Image caption Councillors raised safety concerns over the proposed pole-dancing nights

Plans to create a lap-dancing club have been refused amid fears that part of a town centre would become a "no-go area" for women.

The owners of XS Wrexham wanted to host full nudity nights twice a week to "spice up" the town's nightlife which, they said, is in severe decline.

However Wrexham council turned down the licence application because of the impact on the character of the town.

Councillors raised concerns over women's safety and sexual exploitation.

Krista Childs said: "It's not just a moral issue, it's about generations of children, young people and women and how they're looked upon.

"We should maximise the safety and well-beingĀ of women and I don't think this has a place."

Beverley Parry-Jones said she would feel "deeply uncomfortable" travelling along Abbot Street where the bar is located.

Carrie Harper claimed granting a licence would conflict with the council's policies on equality, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

She said: "If the granting of this application potentially makes this end of town a no-go area for women, that potentially amounts to discrimination."

Bar owner David Thomas, chairman of the Wrexham Night Safe and Pub Watch schemes, outlined steps that would be taken to ensure the safety of dancers, customers and the public, including a no-touching policy and the presence of security guards.

He also claimed some bars and clubs in the town were at risk of closing if there was no change to the entertainment on offer.

Mr Thomas, who had a similar application turned down in 2015, said: "What I've seen in the time I've operated in Wrexham is a significant decline in the night-time economy.

"If action isn't taken, then in five years there may be little or no night-time economy in the town."

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