LAP-DANCING clubs will remain in Bournemouth following a debate by the council's Licensing Board.

Members voted to retain up to three so-called Sexual Entertainment Venues (SEVs)after hearing arguments for and against their existence.

The Board was carrying out a review of its Sexual Establishment Policy, Regulations and Conditions and referred to public consultation carried out between June and September this year which suggested a raft of changes.

But they concluded that responses from the public "cancelled each other out" on whether the number of such venues should be three or zero.

And they heard there is no evidence to suggest the venues are causing specific problems in the town centre. They will also be allowed to keep the term 'gentleman's clubs'.

The three clubs, For Your Eyes Only (FYEO) at Horsesoe Common, Spearmint Rhino in Yelverton Road and Wiggle in Old Christchurch Road, will still have to apply for licences in the usual manner and will be closely monitored.

Their applications could be turned down and others could be considered if they applied.

The review also covers the town's three sex shops, one at the Triangle and two in Holdenhurst Road.

Licensing Board members heard representations from Director of FYEO Glenn Nicie and resident Lisa Northover who fiercely opposes such venues.

Speaking on behalf of Mr Nicie, Julia Palmer said the venue offers no threat to those living in or using the area, offers customers and performers a safe and well-controlled environment and employs around 50 people.

She added: "If the numbers of SEVs is reduced, my client's long-standing and well-conducted business could be forced to close.

"This would result not only in the loss of main income sources for around 50 people, but also this popular venue for male and female customers alike."

Ms Northover told board members: "I doubt that any female resident of Bournemouth would like to be sharing space with a customer leaving a sexual entertainment venue.

"The men that come out of the clubs are sexually wound up and they are drunk. I don't see how that can be acceptable in any area of Bournemouth."

Board members voted 9-2 to allow up to three SEVs with councillors John Trickett and Beverley Dunlop voting against.