Plans to bring in a new licensing strategy for adult entertainment venues in Aberdeen could be pushed back until next December.
Aberdeen City Council is currently working on its licensing scheme for sexual entertainment venues (SEVs), after agreeing to adopt a strategy in December last year.
An SEV includes any premises at which sexual entertainment is provided before a live audience.
The most common types of premises are lap dancing or strip clubs, however, the strategy would cover other premises.
It was originally intended to implement new licensing measures by January 1, 2021, however, due to Covid-19, this has been recommended to be altered to December 1 2021.
The local authority is bringing in the strategy as a matter of public safety, rather than one of morality.
To gather views, Aberdeen City Council launched a consultation in March this year, which closed a month later in April.
The survey asked people to give their ideas on what they believe an appropriate number of SEVs in the city would be, as well as where they should be allowed to be located.
It also said that holding an online consultation, which was done earlier this year, “failed to attract suitable evidence” and face-to-face interviews have not been able to go ahead.
Aberdeen City Council’s licensing committee will discuss the SEV licensing when it meets next week.
A report which will be heard by councillors states: “As a result of the Covid-19 restrictions, evidence gathering has proved difficult.
“The online consultation failed to attract suitable evidence to a sufficient degree, and planned face to face consultations with relevant stakeholders have not been possible. Officers are making attempts to arrange virtual meetings where possible.
“As this is a brand-new licensing regime it is considered imperative that any Policy Statement is based on the best evidence possible and delaying the implementation date provides officers with more time to gather that evidence to present to the Committee.”
Earlier this year, convener of the licensing committee John Reynolds said: “Care will be taken to balance the freedom of individuals to engage in legal employment and activities with the right to exercise appropriate control and regulation to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of the staff and patrons. In turn, citizens should also benefit from a safe, regulated environment.”