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THE LAPDUNCES; You fund town hall trip to club.

Byline: RICHARD SMITH

A TORY-run council is sending members on fact-finding trips to lap-dancing clubs - funded by taxpayers.

Twelve councillors on the licensing committee will visit clubs outside their area to learn how they operate before strict new laws begin.

Committee chairman Jim Flashman, 61, said: "We want to find out how these businesses operate, how safe they are, whether the businesses are considerate neighbours and who the sorts of people are that use these premises. I have never had the need to go to a lap-dancing club, so I really don't have any idea what goes on in them."

But the TaxPayers' Alliance said the Cornwall Council visits were a scandalous waste of public money. Chief executive Matthew Elliott said: "If they really feel they need to make this visit why not send one member - at least then they would be spending less taxpayers' money on this ridiculous exercise."

Tracy Earnshaw, who has campaigned against lap-dancing clubs in Newquay, said: "The committee is not there to form an opinion - the Government has done that. So to go on this trip at the taxpayers' expense makes it particularly galling and unnecessary."

Under new laws lap-dancing clubs will now be classed separately from pubs or nightclubs and will need a special licence to operate.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 6, 2010
Words:218
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