New twist in nude dance bar row

IPSWICH'S MP has come under fire over his stance on an exotic night in the town after it emerged he voted for a change in legislation on the issue.

IPSWICH'S MP has come under fire over his stance on an exotic night in the town after it emerged he voted for a change in legislation on the issue.

Last week Labour MP Chris Mole told The Evening Star he was not in favour of a new gentleman's night at Curve Bar in Princes Street, arguing the event is not suitable for the town.

The arrival of the weekly event at Curve Bar, which features around 30 women podium and pole dancing, has sparked controversy in the area with many people backing the evening but large numbers opposing it.

Critics have now pointed out that Mr Mole voted for a change in the law that shifted the responsibility from the courts to local councils (the Licensing Act 2003) and loosened licensing arrangements for strip joints.

Andrew Cann, leader of Ipswich's Lib Dem group, said local people should have a say on whether such nights should be given the go-ahead.

“I think all politicians in Ipswich would wish to see such things barred,” he said.

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“It is the government and people like Chris Mole preventing people from having their say.”

Tory parliamentary candidate for Ipswich, Ben Gummer, said he was also against the idea of the event.

He said: “I think the best thing Mr Mole can do is put pressure on government to change the licensing laws.

“In the end people are always going to take advantage of licensing laws if they are able to and he should put pressure on his own ministers to change them.”

Mr Mole said a shift in policy announced by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith on Sunday will see communities have a stronger say in stopping lap-dancing clubs opening in their areas.

He said: “The 2003 act was a piece of legislation that brought in a whole raft of controls around drinks licensing and entertainment licensing which have improved in general the opportunities for people to raise concerns about the impact of licensed premises in their neighbourhoods.

“I regret that it did not increase the powers or specifically address the question of lap-dancing and my belief is that what the Home Secretary was saying on Sunday is intended to address that omission.

“I'm glad the government is talking about doing it at the next available opportunity.”

Are you in favour of exotic dancing in Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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