Lap dancers claim victory in clubs fight

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Protesters claimed victory today after councillors agreed to keep existing lap dancing clubs in Portsmouth.

The city council’s licensing committee approved the move at a packed public meeting inside the Civic Offices this morning.

Dancers and staff from Wiggle and Elegance clubs in Portsmouth protest on the steps of the Guildhall in Portsmouth.

Dancers and staff from Wiggle and Elegance clubs in Portsmouth protest on the steps of the Guildhall in Portsmouth.

As part of the decision venues will be able to renew their licences - but new applications will be refused unless there is good reason.

And existing clubs will not be allowed to move to other locations unless there are problems with the building and issues with employees’ safety.

Paul Oija, who owns lapdancing clubs Wiggle and Elegance, said: ‘This is a victory for my businesses but at the same time its a shame there won’t be a competitive market.’

Earlier, the cry of ‘save our jobs’ echoed throughout Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square as scores of people protested against the potential closure of lap dancing clubs in the city. A total of 65 dancers, door staff and workers for Wiggle and Elegance strip venues stood on the steps of the Guildhall wearing ‘save our jobs’ T shirts.

They chanted and called on the public to consider their cause.

Wiggle dancer Paula Smith, 20, said: ‘It is my choice to work as a Wiggle dancer, I’m comfortable and it’s good money. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.’