THE man responsible for introducing lap dancing to the Highlands has been called to discuss his night-time activities with his daytime bosses – in the local council.

Shane Manning was the subject of national exposure when he applied for a licence to sell alcohol during lap-dancing sessions in the nightclub he runs in Inverness. But few knew his main job was that of principal traffic support official in the Highland Council.

His appearance at the Highland Licensing Board meeting last week was noted by some members of the public who raised the matter of his dual role with his local authority employers.

Hush nightclub in Inverness was controversially given permission to sell drink when it provides lap-dancing entertainment, which it intends to do regularly on certain nights after 10pm.

Hush will be the first club in the Highlands to offer regular lap-dancing sessions, an activity the licensing board chairwoman branded a blatant exploitation of women.

The move was also opposed by the Highland Violence Against Women Strategy Group, which includes representatives of the Highland Council as well as NHS Highland, Police Scotland, Women's Aid and a Rape and Abuse Line.

Mr Manning, 46, said: "I have worked in the night-time economy for 25 years at the same time as being employed by Highland Council and there has never been a conflict of interest.

"I keep the two things separate and I do not wish to discuss them. What I do at the weekends and at night time is only my concern. I have no reason to change that."

A council spokesman said Mr Manning had booked a day off to attend the licensing board meeting and employees were entitled to have alternative employment in their own time as long as it did not impact on their council work.

He added: "If people want to work in a bar in the evenings and at weekends work on a croft or be a part-time professional footballer that is entirely up to them, as long as it does not affect their ability to perform the jobs they are employed to do at the council."

He said Mr Manning's line manager simply wanted to talk to him to ensure this is true in his case. "There is no conflict of interest between Mr Manning's two jobs."

Mr Manning's lap-dancing activities are being backed by the owners of two lap-dancing clubs in Aberdeen and one in Dundee.

Their solicitor told the licensing board their clubs had CCTV and stewards, they enjoyed an excellent relationship with the police in these cities, and there had never been a complaint about the clubs in more than 15 years in operation – and they were sure it would be same in Inverness.

At present, there are no premises featuring regular adult entertainment in the Highlands, although one-off licences have been approved.

Mr Manning had claimed people from outside Inverness who had tried to book his nightclub for a hen or stag party thought he was joking when he said lap dancing or strippers were not normally allowed in the Highlands.