LICENCING officials have been told to “just say no” to anyone wanting to open a sex entertainment venue in East Lothian.

East Lothian Council’s licensing sub-committee voted to ban any adult venues opening in the county in the future.

They were told that changes to the law meant they would either have to draw up a licensing policy for the venues, referred to as SEVs, or take a stand against them.

A failure to do either would leave the county open to anyone who wanted to open an SEV to do so without any council control.

The sub-committee unanimously agreed to take a stand against the venues ever being approved in East Lothian.

Their lawyer told members that there were only about a dozen of these venues across Scotland and none in East Lothian.

He said: “You have to make a decision on whether we want to bring in licensing for these venues or make the declaration we do not want to have them in our authority.”

Councillor John Williamson, sub-committee member, told them: “On SEVs I say just say no.”

His view was echoed by sub-committee convenor Councillor Colin McGinn and fellow members Councillors Jeremy Findlay, Tom Trotter and Jane Henderson as they unanimously approved a ban.

The meeting of the sub-committee in Haddington Town House last Thursday also saw councillors agree to amend the current public entertainment licensing policy to include theatres ahead of changes to legislation which would see the 1968 Theatre Act being repealed.

And they were asked to provide feedback for a consultation which is being held into a Members Bill the Scottish Government is calling for a new licensing regime for funfairs.

The bill, brought forward by Richard Lyle, MSP for Uddingston and Bellshill in Lanarkshire, calls for a nationwide licensing policy to be established to avoid what he said was “a barrier of local red tape” for travelling fair operators.

But Councillor Henderson warned against any move to centralise the licensing of fairs.

She said: “I am broadly happy with the way we do things and I do not think this manner of centralising funfairs is a good idea.

“They have to be dealt with locally and I am not in favour of changes that take away local input.”

Councillor McGinn agreed with his colleague, adding: “There is so much local knowledge available it would be folly to lose that.

“We get good advice, good support and good representation from the community. It would be foolish to disregard that.”

The consultation on funfars is open for public comments until February 26 and can be found at