A COUNCILLOR has slammed a town centre strip club for ‘creating a hostile environment’ for women.

Cllr Lisa Northover said FYEO in Old Christchurch Road poses a 'danger' to the ‘wider community’.

She shared her concerns at a BCP Council Licensing Sub Committee meeting on Thursday, October 26, where members met to discuss the club’s application to renew its sexual entertainment venue licence for another 12 months.

In objecting to the application, Cllr Northove warned the town centre had become “unsuitable“ for FYEO’s operation.

She said: “The main reason is that the number of sex attacks in the area has risen, and it’s really concerning.

“I don’t know what exactly we’re doing to make the area safer, but continuing the licence of a business which objectifies women can surely not sit with trying to make that area safe.

“I think this club creates a hostile environment towards women and encourages the idea that it is okay to objectify women.

“I don’t know how you can give this club a licence when it is contributing to that hostile environment.”

Cllr Northover also said she submitted an FOI to police in September and was told there had been a sex attack within the club.

FYEO’s lawyer and representative Ms Palmer responded: “We know nothing about this allegation, and I feel convinced we would be very well aware of it if any such thing happened.

“Looking at the rapes in the area, none of the perpetrators have been identified as being people who were in FYEO.

“Once again, I am convinced that if they had been, there would’ve been some very close questioning of their behaviour whilst they were at the premises prior to the allegation of the attack.”

Addressing a document containing 'street' safety advice for dancers at FYEO, Cllr Northover added: "If we can recognise that it's a danger to dancers in going on to be in the local area and going to other clubs [after their shift], I think we can recognise there's a danger to any other women who want to be in that vicinity."

Member councillor Alasdair Keddie also raised concerns to Ms Palmer. He feared the use of the words ‘table dancing’ on the club’s frontage could cause children passing by to “ask questions” about what is inside.

Ms Palmer responded that the design was “just about as discrete as could possibly be managed”, and was “not only inoffensive but is actually one of the better-presented premises in the area.”

She added: “FYEO continues to operate, as it has done for decades, without issues.

“It is a trouble-free and safe venue, which continues to contribute responsibility to the nighttime economy of town.”

The sub-committee decision is due to be issued this week.