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Strip club scheme is 'shaking a fist in face of God'.

A FEMINIST walk-out, warnings about Sodom and Gomorrah, and what constitutes being fully clothed all featured in a highly-charged council meeting yesterday.

The scenes took place as Swansea Council Licensing Committee discussed plans for a city-centre strip club next to a Baptist chapel.

Neath businessman Paul Thomas was applying for a sexual entertainment licence for his club Bellissima beside the 181-year-old York Place Baptist Chapel, whose members amassed more than 1,000 signatures in a petition of objection.

AMs Julie James and Edwina Hart have also lodged objections.

York Place chapel pastor Haydn Dennis said the proposal amounted to "shaking a fist in the face of God".

He told the committee: "You should take heed of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, it will lower the tone of life and principles in the city of Swansea."

Members of the Swansea Feminist Network claimed research in Camden, London, showed a rise in sex clubs there led to a 50% rise in sex attacks on women.

The committee was also told the strip club would be near the LC leisure centre, the Vue Cinema, Swansea Museum, the National Waterfront Museum and a "youth themed" burger bar - facilities used by children.

Mr Thomas said the waitress service club would charge pounds 10 entry and customers could pay pounds 20 to see a woman dance naked in a private "nude area".

He said the club would operate from 10pm to 4am, with hostesses in evening gowns up to midnight and in bikinis thereafter.

After hearing that nude dancers would have to immediately dress at the end of each "performance", a feminist network member asked Mr Thomas: "Does a bikini constitute being fully dressed?" He replied: "Yes." When one of the members was denied the chance to ask a final question, some walked out.

The committee began deliberating on the application in private yesterday and a decision is expected today.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 26, 2012
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