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It has taken a year and £118,000 of taxpayers' money to determine what some might argue was a foregone conclusion - lap-dance and striptease clubs are not welcome near schools.

Research into the effects of sexual entertainment venues on towns and cities was carried out by the University of Kent's School of Social Policy.

The £118,000 project - Sexual Entertainment Venues and the management of risk - was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, a non-departmental public body that receives most of its funding through the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

It canvassed residents in Maidstone, Lincoln, Newcastle and Brighton due to the variety of nighttime venues in each area.

Not surprisingly, it found 83% of respondents felt lap-dancing clubs are not appropriate near schools or nurseries.

Nearly 1,000 people completed the online survey, which was designed to challenge the negative image attached to lap-dance venues.

Lead researcher, Professor Phil Hubbard (pictured right), said: "Opposition to lap-dancing venues appears mainly based on perceptions that clubs normalise sexism and promote anti-social behaviour rather than any direct experience of crime.

"Our study did not uncover any evidence that these clubs cause more nuisance or crime than any other night-time venues."

Maidstone council's decision in 2011 to adopt the Local Government Act relating to the licensing of sexual entertainment venues was given as another reason for the town's inclusion.

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