Adult industry body the Eros Association has slammed Southport councillor Dawn Crichlow for hiking legal brothel set-up fees, saying it will just make unregulated shops “10 times worse”.

Eros general manager Rachel Payne said greater work was needed to regulate massage parlours offering illegal sexual services rather than attacking legal businesses.

“By making it more difficult, Cr Crichlow will see the potential for the unregulated industry to become 10 times worse, and it won’t be able to be dealt with on a council level,” she said.

“I do not understand where she is coming from in attacking a taxpaying business and this completely moralistic crusade is really strange.

“It is non-competitive, unfair and it is making it harder for some businesses which are already somewhat struggling.”