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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 July, 2003, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Islands consider Sunday trading
Uig, Lewis
Seven day licences are only issued on the southern islands.
Western Isles Council is to take legal advice on allowing Sunday entertainment licences in some parts of the Outer Hebrides.

Councillors have agreed to examine the ban on public entertainment licences in Harris, Lewis and North Uist as applications are made.

The decision follows legal advice indicating that the council can operate a policy against Sunday licences as long as each case is considered on its own merits.

But any refusal of licence applications will have to be based on the facts of the case and on the grounds of public amenity and not on the basis of protecting religious belief.

Paintball plan

The issue arose after a local businessman requested permission to run paintball games on Sundays near Stornoway.

Jason King and Joe Engebretson started operating Viking Paintball in March.

Currently Sunday trading restrictions do not apply in the mainly Catholic communities on Benbecula, South Uist and Barra.

The council has been seeking advice on whether the continuation of such a policy would leave the local authority open to a legal challenge under European human rights legislation.

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