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Agenda Item No 6

The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Shared Regulatory Services Joint Committee: 27th February 2018


Report of the Director of Environment and Housing


Update on Public Health (Wales) Act 2017


Purpose of the Report

  1. This report provides an update on new legislation affecting the work undertaken by the Shared Regulatory Service (SRS).


  1. The Committee is asked to consider and note the contents of the attached report.

Reason for the Recommendation

  1. The report apprises the Committee of the work of the service and provides information on new legislation.


  1. The Public Health (Wales) Act 2017 received Royal Assent on 3 July 2017. The Act addresses a number of specific public health concerns namely tobacco and nicotine products; 'special procedures' (acupuncture, body piercing, electrolysis and tattooing); intimate piercing; pharmaceutical services; and provision of toilets for public use.
  2. The Act's purpose is consistent with the five ways of working outlined by the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act and will contribute to the well-being goals of a prosperous, resilient, healthier and more equal Wales.
  3. The Act aims to achieve its aims through:
  • Focusing upon on obesity through the introduction of a national strategy
  • Protecting children and young people, from the harms of smoking by restricting smoking in school and hospital grounds, public playgrounds and outdoor care settings for children
  • Requiring tobacco retailers to be on a national register
  • Protecting people from the risks of infection resulting from special procedures including body piercing, electrolysis, acupuncture and tattooing, through a new licensing system
  • Protecting children and young people from the harms which can be caused by intimate piercing by prohibiting the intimate piercing of those under 18
  • Changing the planning processes for pharmaceutical services and access to toilets for public use
  1. Parts 4 and 5 of the Act contain the provisions dealing with Special Procedures and Intimate Piercing. The new provisions are being introduced in response to the perceived inadequacies of the current legislative framework. The Act introduces a compulsory national licensing system for practitioners of specified special procedures namely; Tattooing, piercing, electrolysis and acupuncture.
  2. This report apprises members of recent changes to the Public Health regime and the implications for the Shared Regulatory Service.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. On the 1st February 2018, the Intimate Piercing provisions within the Public Health Wales Act came into force.
  2. The commencement of the provisions on intimate piercing make it an offence to perform an intimate piercing on children and young people under the age of 18 in Wales, or to make arrangements to do so. There are ten "intimate body areas" specified within the Act, including the nipples, breast, genitalia, buttocks and tongue, and these apply to all genders.
  3. The Act aims to protect children and young people from the potential health harm caused by an intimate piercing, such as the incidence of body piercing-related complications (including infections and injuries) amongst young people whose bodies are still maturing, and who may be less adept at keeping up with aftercare requirements.
  4. The Act requires individuals who perform intimate piercing to be licensed; along with the premises or vehicles from which they operate approved in order to perform any of the defined special procedures. Licences and approvals will be valid for 3 years. Welsh Ministers also have the power to add to these special procedures in line with evolving trends.
  5. Failure to operate without a licence or to break the conditions of a licence will result in the service of 'stop' notices and prosecution with unlimited fines.
  6. In support of the new legislative requirements, businesses affected have received guidance and publicity material from the Welsh Government detailing the changes and advising them of their obligations. Officers from Shared Regulatory Services are conducting a series of workshops with the beauty sectors, piercers and tattooists throughout the region to further support compliance.
  7. The Shared Regulatory Services is also currently involved in discussions with Welsh Government in relation to hosting the administration of the aforementioned licensing system.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. Enforcement of the new legislation specifically Part 5 (intimate piercing) will fall to the Shared Regulatory Services. There are no additional funding arrangements provided for this work. Should the SRS become involved in the administration of the licensing scheme, the operating costs would need to be recoverable from the Welsh Government, or through the fees generated by the Licensing scheme.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. There are no immediate sustainability or climate change concerns associated with this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. Officers within the service in conjunction with South Wales Police will undertake enforcement of the new legislation.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. No implications associated with this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. There are no anticipated equal opportunities implications associated with this report. The Shared Service will ensure that its enforcement activity reflects this position and is in keeping with the Equality Statements and Policies of the participant Authorities.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The key service and improvement objectives contained in the SRS Business Plan identify and link to the Corporate Plans of each Council. 

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. The adopted Scrutiny regime will engage in the review and developments of plans, policies and strategies that support the corporate objectives of each Council.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. No specific consultation has been undertaken in relation to this report.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. The SRS is currently scrutinised through the arrangements in place at each partner Council.

Background Papers


Contact Officer

Christina Hill, Operational Manager Commercial Services

Officers Consulted

Corporate Director, Bridgend County Borough Council

Director of Environment, City of Cardiff Council

Director of Environment and Housing, Vale of Glamorgan

Accountant, Vale of Glamorgan Council

Legal Services, Vale of Glamorgan Council

Responsible Officer:

Director of Environment and Housing, Vale of Glamorgan