Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh sauna licences consultation approved

A consultation is to be held on whether Edinburgh Council should end its long-standing tolerant approach to the sex trade by scrapping licences for saunas.

Councillors have approved plans for the consultation on changing public entertainment licence rules.

It will be open to responses from the public from Tuesday.

Council officials said the current arrangement was "no longer effective" and saunas should be regulated in the same way as other businesses.

They said that removing saunas and massage parlours from licensing would mean they could continue to operate but would be subject to "enforcement activity through trading standard and public health powers".

And any criminal or illegal activity would be a matter for Police Scotland.

Edinburgh is the only Scottish city to operate a licensing scheme for saunas and massage parlours, part of its tolerant approach to the sex trade.

Convener of the council's regulatory committee, Councillor Gavin Barrie, said: "The regulatory committee today approved plans to hold a consultation on potentially removing the requirement for saunas and massage premises to be licensed.

"The consultation will be open to responses from the public and interested organisations from Tuesday, 19 November."

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