A crackdown on the number of lap dancing venues allowed to operate in Blackpool is expected in a bid to improve its 'family town' image.

Councillors are being asked to approve a new policy which would permit only one sex shop to trade, and set a zero limit on lap dancing clubs.

It will not immediately affect the existing four clubs which would be allowed to continue operating.

But once those licences lapse for any reason they would not be renewed, LancsLive reports.

Regulations around 'sexual entertainment' venues are also set to be tightened under the revised policy, which licensing chiefs say will better reflect Blackpool's aim to be a family resort, and its support of the White Ribbon campaign to reduce violence towards women.

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The council's licensing chairman Coun Adrian Hutton said: "We are a family town and some of the things that have gone on are not according to the rules.

"There have been complaints from members of the public which we have had to deal with.

"We're not against people coming to Blackpool and having a good time, but there is an element that causes problems and this is a way to reduce that.

"A lot of thought has gone into this to come up with a policy which helps the town."

The plans will be heard at the licensing committee next week

A report to councillors adds as 'a White Ribbon accredited authority, Blackpool Council is working towards setting a zero limit on the number of sexual entertainment venues (lap dancing clubs)'.

"Previously the number of sexual entertainment venues (SEVs) was set as four.

"Working towards the White Ribbon aims, it is proposed that the number of SEVs be reduced to zero with an exception being made for those four premises currently licensed."

Clubs are currently closed under Covid restrictions, but once they reopen, they would be re-licensed providing they comply with legislation and licence conditions.

However once a licence lapses, is revoked, surrendered, or otherwise not renewed, the grandfather rights would be lost.

New applications would still be considered but with the zero policy in place, it would be much more difficult to have a licence granted.

There were believed to be around 13 lap dancing venues operating in Blackpool in the mid-2000s, but the numbers have steadily reduced.

'We are a family town and some of the things that have gone on are not according to the rules,' Blackpool's licensing chair says

Members of the council's licensing committee are also being asked to agree to reduce the number of permitted sex shops from the current two, down to one.

The policy will go before the council’s licensing committee on Tuesday January 19 for consideration.

The move comes at a time of increased optimism in Blackpool's future as a resort, following significant investment in transport links, hotels and infratsructure.

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