Agenda item

Consolidation of byelaws for skin piercing activities (Report number: COU/WS/21/014)

Report number: COU/WS/21/014


Council considered this report, which sought approval and adoption of new consolidated West Suffolk byelaws in respect of licensing skin piercing practices following the revocation of the current byelaws relating to this matter.


Members noted that in preparation for the creation of a single West Suffolk Council, it had been agreed to retain separate byelaws in the former Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury areas with regards to the licensing of skin piercing practices.


Together with other related matters as set out in paragraphs 1.2 to 1.4 of the report, it was now proposed that these be consolidated into one set of byelaws covering all activities, which would ensure that all skin piercing licensing was legally enforceable in a consistent way across the district.


The legal position was set out in the report, and it was proposed that the model byelaws previously adopted by St Edmundsbury Borough Council and as set out in Appendix A, would be adopted by the entire district for the reasons set out in paragraphs 1.5 to 1.7 of the paper.


In addition, it was recommended that the Council updated its hygiene guidance and the relevant page on its website, to ensure that licensees and applicants were fully cognisant of the proposed requirements and felt supported in understanding appropriate practice.


Councillor Andy Drummond, Portfolio Holder for Regulatory and Environment, drew relevant issues to the attention of Council, including placing his thanks on record to the Director (HR, Governance and Regulatory) and her team for the work undertaken in bringing this proposal to Council for approval and adoption. He then moved a motion to approve the recommendations contained in the report, which was duly seconded by Councillor Clive Springett.


Council supported and agreed to the principle of consolidating and adopting byelaws based on the former St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s model byelaws to enable a consistent enforceable approach to licensing all skin piercing activities across the entire district; however, before the debate was concluded, Councillor Julia Wakelam queried a matter in relation to the following paragraph of section 1 of the proposed byelaws at Appendix A:


hygienic piercing instrument” means an instrument such that any part of the instrument that touches a client is made for use in respect of a single client, is sterile, disposable and is fitted with piercing jewellery supplied in packaging that indicates the part of the body for which it is intended, and that is designed to pierce either?

(a)  the lobe or upper flat cartilage of the ear, or

(b)  either side of the nose in the mid-crease area above the nostril;


Councillor Wakelam asked whether use of the aforementioned “hygienic piercing instrument” could apply to the piercing of other parts of the body as this was not explicitly clear in the relevant paragraph reproduced above.


This was unable to be clarified at the meeting, which resulted in Councillor Drummond withdrawing his motion. Councillor Springett, seconder of the motion, agreed to the withdrawal.


Officers would be asked to clarify the matter and make amendments to the proposed byelaws, as appropriate. The report would be re-presented, amended as appropriate, to Council at the next available opportunity.

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