COUNCILLORS in Flintshire are welcoming new Welsh Government legislation coming next year to tighten up standards at premises offering skin-piercing services.

At a meeting of Flintshire Council’s licensing committee, members were told that the Welsh Government is planning changes to special procedures involving skin piercing to be introduced next summer.

The committee had been asked for its feedback ahead of the legislation being implemented before June 2024, under the Public Health (Wales) Act, which will cover tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, cosmetic piercing, acupuncture, dry-needling and electrolysis to ensure these services are carried out in a hygienic manner.

A full licence will last for three years and a temporary licence will last for seven days (to allow for events and conferences).

Whilst Flintshire Council recently passed by-laws on skin piercing in the county, these are discretionary and Welsh Government wants to ensure consistency throughout Wales, driving up standards in the sector.

Practitioners will be required to demonstrate their competence to undertake procedures by undertaking training and being subject to inspection by Environmental Health Officers. In addition, they will have to provide a Basic DBS as part of their licence application.

READ MORE; Flintshire Council to introduce skin-piercing bye-law

Those practitioners who are currently registered will need to move over to the new system. Time will be allowed for them and their premises to be assessed by officers and transferred to the new licensing system.

As responsibility will come under the licensing committee, it will take part in a consultation paper to come next month.

Chairing the meeting, Greenfield Cllr Rosetta Dolphin (Eagle) said she was proud the council had already adopted much of what will be covered by the new legislation in its by-laws.

Saltney Ferry Cllr Richard Lloyd (Lab) asked about the availability of a register for those premises covered by the laws.

“It’s really important this”, he said.

“Is there a register you can go on online to check people are registered?”

Cllr Lloyd also asked about the age limit people can go on their own.

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Officers confirmed there is a register available online and confirmed you have to be 18 or over to attend on your own.

Cllr Dolphin queried whether providing proof of age was standard at premises offering skin-piercing.

“Do they have to prove they’re 18?”, she asked.

“Because I have heard of a 16 year-old going in and saying that she was 18, and then the parents have gone in later fuming saying ‘why did you tattoo my daughter. Do they have to prove it now?”

Officers said it was a ‘grey area’ and would depend on the establishment.

Unlike pubs and clubs which quite often operate a ‘Challenge 25’ policy – to ensure that if the customer looks under the age of 25 they are asked for ID, any such scheme will be voluntary.

Buckley Bistre West Cllr Carolyn Preece (Lab) asked whether premises will have to display the licence.

She said: “It (the report) doesn’t actually say that they have to display a notice to say they have this approval.

“Is that going to be part of the new legislation, like food hygiene etc, that they have their grading in the window and it must be displayed?”

Officers confirmed that this would be the case.

The committee noted the report.