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Councillors accept Moray sex entertainment venue legislation

By Jonathan Clark

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SEX entertainment venues looking to open in Moray will need to seek a licence after new legislation was approved by the council.

At a meeting of Moray Council's licensing committee on Wednesday it was agreed that, as of November 6, 2020, premises which offer "sexual entertainment" will have to seek a licence to do so.

There are currently no such venues in Moray, but this will be viewed as a backwards step for any SEV (sexual entertainment venue) wishing to open in the area. Currently an SEV operator would be free to open a venue in Moray without a licence.

The council's papers said: "By choosing to license SEVs the council would be imposing an additional regulatory burden on proposed operators. This may make Moray less attractive to proposed operators."

"Sexual entertainment" is defined as any live performance or "display of nudity" provided for principal purpose of sexual stimulation of audience members.

Moray Council passed the legislation this morning. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Moray Council passed the legislation this morning. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

A public consultation found 57 per cent of 187 respondents believed there was no appropriate place for an SEV in Moray, while 33 per cent believed there was. Elgin was the most popular choice for a venue, but other respondents included suggestions about Forres, Buckie and Keith.

Speaking at the meeting, Councillor Marc Macrae (Conservative, Fochabers-Lhanbryde) said: "It is key we have a licence in place. While it may never be used, it is vital we follow the procedure and go ahead with the plan."

It seems likely neighbouring authorities Highland, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City will all also choose to license such venues.

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