THE fee for a sex shop licence in Glasgow has been cut by almost £13,500 to £1,882 annually after a council review.

Obtaining a one-year licence, which is required by law, had been set at a cost of £10,000 in 2000 and had since risen to £15,373.

In comparison, a licence for a sexual entertainment venue is £1,882 — and the highest fee for any other traders’ licence is £773 for a three-year knife dealer permit.

In Edinburgh, a one-year sex shop licence is listed at £2,044 on the council’s website and in West Dunbartonshire, the fee is £2,401. Fees vary across council areas with a charge of £386 in Inverclyde, £420 in North Lanarkshire and £807 in South Lanarkshire. 

Glasgow’s licensing committee has now agreed to reduce the fee to £1,882 per year, in line with sexual entertainment venues. Councillor Alex Wilson, SNP, who chairs the licensing committee, said it had been a “long overdue review of the process.”

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In a report to the committee, officials stated an investigation “carried out at the time by the then director of financial services” found the “cost of processing a sex shop licence application in 1998 was £11,570.”

Councillors then agreed in May 2000 to lift the fee from £500, set in 1983, to £10,000. It has risen “on the back of fee increases across all licensing applications.”

The committee has a responsibility to licence sex shops under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982. The act defines a sex shop as “any premises, vehicle, vessel or stall used for a business which consists to a significant degree of selling, hiring, exchanging, lending, displaying or demonstrating sex articles”.

The council report stated there have been “no sex shop licence applications submitted to the licensing authority” since 1998.

It added: “The statutory consultation process for a sex shop licence is similar to the consultation process for a sexual entertainment venue licence under the 1982 Act.

“In terms of a sex shop licence fee, for a grant and separately a renewal, it is therefore suggested that members approve a fee commensurate with that charged for a Sexual Entertainment Venue licence, being £1882, subject to any agreed increases in fees and charges.”