Lapdancing club owner slams councillor critic

Peter Eldridge, owner of Club XS
Peter Eldridge, owner of Club XS

A LAPDANCING club owner has hit out at a councillor’s remarks that such clubs could lead to a rise in prostitution.

Peter Eldridge, from Club XS in Prospect Place, said he was left ‘dismayed’ at Councillor Matthew Lock’s comments made at a recent council meeting where the new laws governing adult entertainment were discussed.

There Cllr Lock voiced concerns that prostitution might take hold in Hastings and said once it started it was like a ‘cancer’ hard to get rid of.

But on Monday Mr Eldridge said: “Yet again an official person is lumping lapdancing and prostitution with the same flag. They are a million miles away from each other. We are under strict control by the council and are not running amok and have the same control as any bar or club. We have fully registered door staff who maintain a permanent presence outside. The front is also monitored by CCTV.

“We welcome female clients, some of whom return each weekend. Their safety is paramount to us as if they are travelling on their own at night after leaving, they are escorted to their cars.

“We are very fussy and strict on who we employ and have a strict drugs policy. Girls are not allowed to be drunk and if anyone is caught taking a number from a customer they are sacked.

“This is not a brothel, there is no nudity at all and we only offer visual entertainment.

“Our reputation is clean and in my mind that’s how lapdancing clubs should be.”

Last month the council agreed that lapdancing clubs in town be subject to tighter controls and the authority accepted new government powers.

Such venues like Club XS will now need a special adult entertainment licence as well as their standard licence that allows them to run a club and sell alcohol. The law does not allow for residents to oppose licences on moral grounds and pubs and bars which organise lapdancing events less than 11 times a year will be exempt from the new rules.