Renfrewshire Council

Have your say on Sexual Entertainment Venue Licensing Policy in Renfrewshire

The Scottish Government has introduced legislation giving Local Authorities a discretionary power to license Sexual Entertainment Venues ("SEVs").

We have agreed to undertake an initial consultation, and to gather evidence, to decide whether to license SEVs and, if so, to inform future licensing policy on these venues.  The consultation document can be found in the related content area of this page.

The consultation will run from the 16 July 2019 until 13 September 2019.

What is a 'sexual entertainment' venue?

The most common example of an SEV is a lap-dancing club. However, the definition in the legislation means that other premises could also need a licence to be able to operate if we decided to license them, for example hotels, pubs and clubs who have party nights with sexual entertainment, if this occurs more than four times within a 12 month period.

Do sexual entertainment venues (SEVs) need to be licensed at the moment?

No, although if they sell alcohol they need a licence from the Licensing Board. Until recent changes to the licensing legislation were introduced, we had no powers to license and regulate these venues directly. The Scottish Parliament has left it for each council in Scotland to decide whether or not to introduce a new licensing system for these premises.

What are the main changes introduced by the new legislation?

A discretionary power now allows Local Authorities to pass a resolution, if they so wish, in relation to the licensing of SEVs in their area.

If a resolution is passed by the Local Authority, it must:

  • determine the appropriate number of SEVs for its area and for each relevant locality in it;
  • prepare an SEV Policy Statement in respect of its functions in relation to the licensing of SEVs taking into account the licensing objectives of preventing public nuisance, crime and disorder; securing public safety; protecting children and young people from harm, and reducing violence against women;
  • decide from time to time the appropriate number of sexual entertainment venues for its area and for each relevant locality;
  • there are various grounds for the refusal of an SEV licence including that the number of SEVs in the Local Authority area or the relevant locality at the time the application is made is equal to or exceeds the number which the Local Authority consider is appropriate for that locality;
  • all SEVs would require an SEV licence to operate;
  • the resolution will not come into force any earlier than one year from the date the resolution is made by the Local Authority; and
  • an SEV  Policy Statement must be published by the Local Authority 28 days prior to the resolution coming into effect.

What happens if we decide to license these venues?

We will have to make a decision, known as a 'Resolution'. Any decision to license them will not come into force until a year after that decision is made. If we do decide to license them, we will require to decide to prepare and publish a licensing policy and decide on the appropriate number of venues within any part of the council area. An application for a licence could be refused on the basis that the number of premises agreed by us for Renfrewshire or an area within it would be exceeded if that licence were to be granted.

What if we decide not to license them?

If we do not license sexual entertainment venues, there will be no change to the existing regulation of these premises. We will not be able to set an appropriate number of these premises for Renfrewshire, or parts of Renfrewshire. We will not be able to regulate these activities using licensing legislation.

How do I submit my views?

Please submit your views by emailing Licensing or by writing to:-

Ken Graham
Head of Corporate Governance
Renfrewshire Council,
Renfrewshire House
Cotton Street

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