Stripograms will be banned from stag and hen parties in licensed venues across East Lothian under new licensing rules.
A draft policy drawn up to license Sexual Entertainment Venues (SEVs) in the county has warned pubs who host the parties should warn organisers that stripograms are banned from the premises, unless they hold a licence.
However they will be allowed an occasional exemption which lets them have a stripogram three times a year at single events, as long as the events in question do not last longer than 24 hours at a time.
The new policy warns any pub licensee who breaches the rules and allows a stripogram without the required licence could face prosecution or lose their right to serve alcohol.
The draft policy which was approved by the local authority’s licensing sub-committee, will now go out for public consultation.
A meeting of the committee this week was asked to approve the process those wanting to apply for an SEV will have to go through and a range of temporary exclusions despite having already agreed to a zero policy on the number of licences allowed in the county.
Councillor Tom Trotter, committee member, said of the process: “It seems an awful lot of paperwork to be saying ‘no chance’.”
The council held a public consultation on plans to introduce an SEV policy last year and agreed in January that, as part of the policy, the number of licences it would agree in the future would be nil.
The draft policy statement, drawn up following the original consultation, includes a section under the heading stag and hen parties which makes clear stripograms will come under the SEV licence.
It says: “If customers in a public house or other premises with an alcohol licence, themselves arrange a ‘stripogram’, the premises need a SEV licence.
“If the premises accept a booking for a stag party, hen night or any other event where “Sexual Entertainment” might happen, the staff should notify the customer that “Sexual Entertainment” is prohibited.”
It goes on to warn pub managers and premises could be prosecuted if they allow a stripogram at a party without an SEV licence and may be stripped of their alcohol licence.
The draft policy states: “East Lothian Council does not take a moral stance on SEVs in adopting this policy.
“The licensing sub-committee recognises that the Scottish Government has made it lawful for SEVs to operate and for a local authority to licence SEVs.”
However it adds that local authorities are able to set the number of SEVs it will licence in is area and East Lothian has set the number at zero.