West Lancashire Borough Council has approved a revised Sex Establishments Policy which continues the authority’s previous approach of setting a limit of zero for any such premises in the Borough.
The Council is not under an obligation to publish a policy for sex establishment licensing. However, by publishing such a document, the Council can clearly state the needs of its own area and dictate the requirements for licensed operations.
When the policy was last approved by the Council in 2013 the limit for sex establishments in the Borough was set at zero, clearly demonstrating the authority’s stance on such premises. The authority did not change this limit when it made amendments to policy in 2017 to describe how any application would be considered and determined.
A public consultation was held on the revised document to ensure that it continued to reflect current opinion.
Every resident who responded clearly stated to the Council they did not want any sex establishments in their area. A petition against such premises was signed by 98 people, and more than 70 individuals sent in their views saying there should be none of these premises in West Lancashire.
The revised policy was largely unchanged from the previous version and kept the limit on sex establishments set at zero. This was approved by the Council’s Licensing and Gambling Committee on Tuesday 10 October.
Councillor Kevin Wright, portfolio holder for Health and Community Safety, said: “The Council never intended to change the limit on sex establishments from zero, and this limit was stated in the revised policy before the start of the public consultation. But Parliament has made it lawful to operate a sex establishment. Therefore it is appropriate the Council sets out its objectives and the means through which application processes can address potential concerns. The response to the public consultation demonstrates how our policy is in line with what local people want.”
Councillor Noel Delaney, chairman of the Licensing and Gambling Committee, said: “We are really grateful to everyone who took the time to respond to the consultation as this clearly shows the Council’s policy reflects the views of local people on this matter.”