WITH a planned opening date in just two weeks, the launch of Solihull’s first lap-dancing club has been slammed by residents, councillors and politicians alike.
The owner of the Opal Lounge in the town centre, Richard McKay, has spent £100,000 to date on transforming the night club into an exclusive venue for the over 25’s.
But news that the ‘gentleman’s club’ was set to throw open its doors on the High Street has seen Councillor Ken Meeson, Conservative leader of Solihull Council put forward a motion to halt the establishment at a council meeting next Tuesday (October 13).
Coun Meeson said: “Government legislation that allows lap dancing clubs to open in a town like Solihull is just plain wrong. That is why we need a full debate at council level to determine how we take this issue forward.
“What we need as a local council is the power to make decisions in line with the wishes of local people.”
Maggie Throup, Prospective MP for Solihull, welcomed Cllr Meeson’s stance.
Ms Throup said: “I was outraged that a lap dancing club was to open in our town centre. This is not appropriate or wanted in our family town.
“I am delighted that Cllr Meeson is putting forward a motion at next week’s council meeting and I hope that he gets full support to stop this club.”
The Green Party also came out to condemn the proposal as “seedy, sexist and promoting the idea of women as sex objects rather than people”.
Spokesperson, Chris Williams said: “Birmingham is the UK’s lap dancing capital, known for businessmen from around the country meeting in the centre of England for business meetings, a minority of whom follow on with a seedy night’s entertainment.
“We don’t want Solihull to have even a small element of the sexist culture that portrays women as sex objects.
“In addition, I fear for the safety of women residents. A report found that incidents of rape in Camden in London rose by 50 per cent and sexual assault by 57 per cent over a three-year period, during which time four lap dancing clubs had opened in the area.”
The council meeting will take place at the Civic Suite at 5.30pm.