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Lapdancing club protest

Community

Community

Hundreds of people are expected to take to the streets of Ampthill on Monday to protest against the opening of a lapdancing club.

Businessman John Shayler has faced huge opposition from people in the town since he revealed plans to turn his empty premises in Church Street into a lapdancing club.

In July Central Beds Council approved the application for a sexual entertainment venue licence, and Mr Shayler is planning to open the club this month.

But protestors claim they have been “let down” by the council and have collected more than 2,000 signatures for a petition opposing the plans.

One of the campaign organisers Matthew Dear said: “We 
respect the diversity of views on this issue, but the 30 per cent of the town who took the trouble to sign the petition should see this as their golden opportunity to express their opinion.

“Our council has done us a grave disservice and we will show them – on the very spot – why this is not the right location for a sex venue, since they showed us such scant disregard when they were preparing for the hearing.

“We will say loud and clear that as far as we are concerned, the club and its patrons are not welcome here.”

Campaigners have been collecting signatures for eight weeks, and have gathered 2,261 with, with more still to be 
counted.

The protest is taking place on Monday at 6.30pm in the Town Square with speeches from protesters and the petition will be handed over to Central Beds councillors. All are welcome to attend.

Leader of the council James Jamieson said: “Nobody at the council is happy about this 
situation.

“We understand completely the strength of community 
feeling on this issue and fully support people’s actions to 
express their views and moral objections even when we are in a situation where we have limited ability to enforce these.

“While our hands are tied by licensing regulations, whether or not this venue opens is now in the hands of the applicant, who we hope will acknowledge the level of local objections.”

Mr Jamieson added that the council will ensure the licensing regulations are not broken.

Check our website next week for more updates on the protest: www.bedfordtoday.co.uk

 

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