Draft policy detailing council's position to be drawn up for consultation

East Lothian Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee today (Thursday 13 January 2022) agreed to introduce a licensing regime for Sexual Entertainment Venues (SEVs).

Following public consultation on Scottish Government’s introduction of the new regime for the licensing of sexual entertainment venues in 2018, local authorities were permitted to licence SEVs and to set the number able to operate in their area taking account of local circumstances.

East Lothian Council carried out a 2 month public consultation in 2021 on the proposal to establish a licensing regime for the county. The responses provided were taken into consideration by the Licensing Sub-Committee during their discussions.

The decision taken to introduce a licensing regime for SEVs in East Lothian now requires the preparation of a policy statement and the specification of a date from when this is to take effect in East Lothian which must be at least one year from the sub-committee’s decision – ie January 2023.

Further public consultation will also be held when the draft policy statement is available which will detail the council’s position regarding the licensing of SEVs and any conditions. However, the Licensing Sub-Committee also provisionally agreed that no SEVs would be permitted within East Lothian.

The Sub-Committee took the view that, if it was agreed not to licence this activity and so determine policy then these venues could be set up in the county without any need for regulation and oversight. This may constitute a risk for for potentially vulnerable individuals who would primarily work in such venues.

Published: Thursday, 13th January 2022