A mixed response has been elicited following news Fife’s only lap dancing club is to open its doors early next month.
‘Sin’ is due to open in a room above Kitty’s nightclub in Kirkcaldy on November 2, with local businessman Mario Caira’s new venture expected to create around 20 new jobs including bar and security staff.
But while Mr Caira has suggested the new club will be tastefully and properly run, the latest addition to the Lang Toun’s nighttime economy has sparked controversy.
The club, in which all of the dancers will be self-employed, will be open from 10pm to 3am on Thursdays and 10pm to 4am on Fridays and Saturdays, and will operate under the current conditions of the existing entertainment licence.
However, Kirkcaldy councillor Judy Hamilton, who is also Fife’s community and housing convener, revealed she has been contacted by a number of people expressing concerns about the club’s arrival and admits she shares some of those.
“I am disappointed,” she said.
“As their ward councillor, I wonder, is this really what we are claiming for entertainment in Kirkcaldy in 2018? In my view, it says more about our attitude to women than it does about entertainment.
“Although I understand that the existing licence for the premises covers this activity, my concern is that many women working in the ‘sexual entertainment’ industry can be exploited.
“All of these women are somebody’s sister, cousin, niece, wife, friend – and they deserve to be treated with respect in a safe working environment.
“I have immediately spoken to the proprietor to express my concerns and I do understand the business decision.
“However, as these women are to be self-employed, I remain to be convinced of the balance between entertainment and exploitation.
“I would hope that if any of the women involved feel unsafe at any time then they could contact local services for support and assistance.”
Mr Caira has said he believes there is a demand in the area and is keen to see the response, when open.
“I am fully aware that this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if they don’t like it then we are not forcing them through the door,” he said.
“It’s like Marmite – you’ll either love it or hate it.
“All of the dancers will be well looked after by my staff and their welfare will obviously be a priority.”
Kirkcaldy MSP David Torrance said he was “neither for nor against it”, adding: “If it is run properly and doesn’t cause any problems in the vicinity then I don’t have a problem with it. It will bring jobs to the area and help boost the night time economy.”
But Fife councillor Mary Lockhart has also voiced her unease about the new establishment.
“It’s my belief that anything which depends on a woman having to take her clothes off for any kind of entertainment or gratification is objectifying the body of a woman.
“To justify accepting it by claiming that it will create jobs and be good for business displays gross insensitivity.”