Calls to tighten rules on salons

Calls for stronger regulations on tanning operators in Blackpool
Calls for stronger regulations on tanning operators in Blackpool
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Calls have been made for councils to get stronger powers to tackle rogue tanning salon operators.

Blackpool Council is to write to the Secretary of State for Health to ask for a formal licensing scheme to be set up for sunbed operators.

It comes amid fears people are being put at risk by a lack of regulation of the industry.

Councillors unanimously backed a notice of motion put forward by Coun Tony Williams calling for tougher controls.

He said: “Sunbed operators can currently operate anywhere they want. They can open very easily and often there are no checks on issues such as the strength of the tanning tubes.

“There is also a danger that some operators are allowing young children to use sunbeds, some as young as 10 or 11.

“Falsely, people believe going on a sunbed and getting some sort of tan before they go on holiday will stop them burning – it won’t.”

Last August a series of prosecutions took place after the council carried out checks on tanning salons in the town.

A 14-year-old was sent in by council licensing bosses to film covertly inside parlours and prove children were being illegally offered time on sunbeds and sunshowers.

The initiative found staff at some salons were not checking the ages of their customers.

More than 60 per cent of shops checked across the town failed the under age sales tests and more than 70 per cent were exposed as having unsafe bulbs which emitted higher than recommended levels of potentially harmful UV light.

Coun Williams added: “More robust powers to local authorities are needed in regard to the enforcement and prosecution of operators, through a stringent licensing programme.”

The council wants any new regulations to include minimum staffing levels, as well as policies governing staff training.