INDIVIDUALS aiming to secure licences to operate sex shops in Warrington will have to fork out more than £1,900 in fees.

The council’s licensing committee has approved the charging structure for non-statutory licences for the trading period between 2019-20 and 2021-22.

The authority says locally set fees are a vital in ensuring reasonable costs can be recovered, rather than ‘relying on subsidy’ from taxpayers.

A street trading discount is offered to traders who comply with the authority’s nutritional assessment, which forms part of the food hygiene inspection.

In total, 29 traders out of 60 traders currently benefit from a waiver amounting to £2,900 in total.

The waiver will remain in place following approval from the committee.

A council spokesman said: “Health and wellbeing is an important issue for society as a whole.

“The council and its partners have published a strategy and committed to take action.

“Street traders are encouraged to make simple changes to the way they operate to promote good nutritional standards.

“Those traders who are able to demonstrate that they meet the required standards can benefit from a small waiver to the fee to support them to make changes for the benefit of their customers.

“This is kept under review.”

Furthermore, the council confirmed that it currently licenses one sexual establishment in the town – Nice ‘n’ Naughty sex shop, on Crown Street.

It was first licensed in 2003.

As part of the approved charging structure, the initial fee for a new sexual establishment licence in the trading period between 2019-20 and 2021-22 will total £1,553, with a further fee of £383 payable if the licence application is approved.

The council said splitting the fee in this way ensures that it acts in accordance with a European Court of Justice ruling.

A sex establishment licence allows the holder to operate a sex shop, sex cinema and sexual entertainment venue.

The spokesman added: “Sexual establishment venues are required to be licensed by law.

“There is only one premises in Warrington, which has been licensed as a sex shop since 2003 and has a history of compliance.”