Friday, June 18

Further public consultation on sexual entertainment venues in Angus due to start in coming weeks

Residents will be quizzed on a set of conditions that might allow sexual entertainment venues such as lap dancing clubs to be licensed in Angus.

The council’s civic licencing committee was told a consultation on a draft licensing policy statement will take place from February until April.

There are no such premises in Angus at the moment but local authorities across the country have been given new licensing powers by the Scottish Government.

A similar consultation was held last year with the aim of sounding out the public on the idea in general. The new one will consider the specifics of a licensing policy statement.

Members of the public and interested parties will be asked to submit their views on matters such as how many venues should be permitted in the county.

Angus Council will use social media and the “have your say” section of its website to advertise the consultation once it has gone live.

Arbroath west Liberal Democrat councillor Richard Moore urged people to have their say.

He said: “Personally I would like to see that everyone who may have an interest is involved.”

The findings from the latest consultation will be brought before the committee ahead of the policy coming into effect on August 12 this year.

Sexual entertainment is defined in the legislation as “any live performance” or “any live display of nudity” for the purpose of sexually stimulating any member of the audience.

The Scottish Government move meant councillors had to introduce specific legislation on the sector, despite the lack of venues in Angus.

Previously, civic licensing convener Craig Fotheringham said he hoped to never see such a venue in the county, but that the new legislation would at least allow the council to lay down conditions if proprietors try to open one.

The charity Angus Women’s Aid has condemned the possibility, saying “all sexual exploitation” is “inherently harmful”.

Mr Moore previously called for a zero tolerance approach to “schoolgirl” acts in the county, citing his time as a councillor in England where he knew of venues that featured women dressed in school uniforms.

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