Borders households might soon be asked for their views on strip clubs.
Scottish Borders Council is looking at introducing new powers to licence “sexual entertainment venues” in the area, and will need to consult with residents before doing so.
Currently, any premises which wishes to provide sexual entertainment for a live audience does not need permission to do so – as evidenced by various Borders bars and clubs hosting adult entertainment over the years.
Although there are no known plans for a strip club to open in the Borders, the council is set to debate introducing the new powers at the next meeting of the council on Thursday (August 27).
However, the council cannot begin licensing sexual entertainment venues without first consulting with the public.
A report, sent to council members ahead of the meeting, provides a definition of sexual entertainment, before explaining the procedure for a public consultation.
The report states: “Sexual entertainment is any live performance, or any live display of nudity which is of such a nature it must be reasonably assumed to be provided solely or principally for the purpose of sexually stimulating any member of the audience; and ‘display of nudity’ means in the case of a woman showing (to any extent and by any means) her nipples, pubic area, genitals or anus; and in the case of a man showing (to any extent and by any means) his pubic area, genitals or anus.”
“A sexual entertainment venue is any premises at which sexual entertainment is provided before a live audience for financial gain and where its purpose is the sexual stimulation of members of the audience.
“If the council decides that it should consider adopting a resolution to licence sexual entertainment venues, the first part of the public consultation will take place.
“The outcome will assist the council in deciding whether or not a resolution is necessary.
“The first part of the public consultation will simply ask the public if the council should adopt a resolution which would allow sexual entertainment venues to be regulated.
“The consultation would be directed to the public at large but would also be highlighted to community councils, Adult Protection Committee, Child Protection Committee, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, NHS and violence against women groups.
“Responses gathered from the first part of the public consultation will then be brought back to the council to allow it to consider whether a basis exists to adopt a resolution to licence sexual entertainment venues in the Scottish Borders.”
The new rules, if implemented, will not include private properties to which the public are not admitted.