A GROUP of dancers have put their case to council officials in a bid to keep Glasgow's lap dancing clubs open.

Last year Glasgow City Council announced it would consult on plans that could lead to adult entertainment venues closing.

The local authority is the first in Scotland to act on new Scottish Government legislation that gives powers to axe the clubs.

In response, women working across the city unionised, setting up a branch with the GMB.

They launched campaign #AskThe700, reflecting the 700 lap dancers across Scotland, and have become the first to give evidence to the council.

Branch secretary Megara, using her professional name, and the other women released a statement following the meeting.

READ MORE: Glasgow lap dancers speak out about threat to close clubs

She said: "No matter what happens after this, eight women - dancers and trade union reps - went into the City Chambers and made history as being the first dancers to be invited to discuss their jobs and future as equal parts to this decision process when historically dancers have been spoken for, spoken over and excluded.

"Today we proved that beyond the intrigue, beyond the heels and glitter, is a group of intelligent, capable women with voices and agency who can collectively organise and fight for their workplaces, thus giving much needed legitimacy to their jobs and the jobs of every dancer across Scotland.

"We hope this will embolden others to stay steadfast in their fight for equality and to be asked and listened to.

"Glasgow City Council have, to our pleasant surprise, set themselves apart from other councils as open minded and willing participants in this conversation, which isn't always an easy one and showed that they will listen and they will ask.

"We finally feel heard and we are grateful for the opportunity to put our case across.

"We are proud to be Glasgow citizens and proud to be dancers.

"We asked that GCC #askthe700 and they did."

The Scottish Government, backed by some feminists, women's organisations and politicians, says lap dancing is a form of violence against women.

Legislation introduced in 2015, the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act, gives local authorities the power to introduce Sexual Entertainment Venue (SEV) licences.

This means they can limit the number of licences within the city, including setting the licence number at zero.

The move places Diamond Dolls, Platinum Lace and Seventh Heaven dancers at risk of losing their livelihoods.

Another fear is that they would be forced to move their work to Edinburgh, where dancers perform completely nude.

In Glasgow the women do not remove their underwear.

GMB Scotland Organiser Rhea Wolfson said: "The fact that organised dancers sat before a council committee to give testimony on the future of their industry represents a significant step change.

"We told council representatives that we now have trade union organised workplaces that underpin all aspects of the employment contract.

"Through bread and butter trade unionism we can raise standards across the sector - and we are doing just that.

"From the start of our campaign we have asked everyone in this consultation to listen to the voice of the workers.

"This is now happening and we hope that more workers will have confidence that they can organise themselves under our banner.

"This consultation will shape the future of the sector in Glasgow and our campaign for regulated and safe places of work for lap dancers and staff across Glasgow's venues continues."

The council says follow-up sessions to hear additional evidence following a 12-week consultation are useful before councillors go on to take a decision on the future of the clubs.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: "We have undertaken follow-up work with organisations and groups who responded to the consultation on whether it is appropriate to licence sexual entertainment venues in Glasgow.

"These follow-up sessions heard the broadest possible spectrum of views and will help us further review and assess the evidence gathered during the consultation.

"Members of the Licensing Committee will consider all of the information presented to it before deciding upon a final policy.

"A decision on whether it is appropriate to licence sexual entertainment venues in Glasgow is expected in the next few months."