CALLS have been made to tighten up controls on massage parlours in Flintshire.

Councillors say better regulations would create a safer atmosphere for staff and customers.

They are being backed by one of the county’s parlours after the local authority agreed to treat strip clubs in the same way as sex shops and sex cinemas.

At present there are no licensed sex premises in Flintshire and an application for the grant of a sex establishment licence costs £800.

Cllr Bernie Attridge, chairman of Flintshire’s licensing committee, said he and colleagues would keep an open mind on future applications. “We’re not ruling them out completely and will judge each application on its merits.”

But the discussion sparked a comment by Mold councillor Chris Bithell who said he believed massage parlours should be the most supervised of all.

“I think it’s bizarre that they are not controlled,” he said.

“I’m not an expert on these matters but I think they need to be properly regulated for the well-being and safety of the girls working there.

“If they are operating these establishments in our area they need to be legal.”

Cllr Attridge said controlling massage parlours was a matter for national government.

The Leader spoke to Bagillt-based massage parlour Savannah who said there should be a change in the law so all parlours would be monitored closely by councils.

A spokesman said: “Being regulated would take a lot of the (potential) crime away, especially the danger of trafficking and drug-related incidents.

“There were a lot of foreign girls who have worked for us who we later realised were pushed into the business by somebody else.

“It would mean we get the right clientele and not gangster-type people.

“As long as we keep a clean parlour and the girls are getting looked after, then we are good.

“The council would recognise when people were being abused.”