TATTOO parlours in Swindon could soon be sporting a hygiene-style rating in the way that restaurants and cafes do.

But not everyone who might be affected by the proposal thinks it is a great idea.

The borough council’s licensing committee is to discuss a plan to inspect and rate tattoo studios this week.

A report to members of the committee says: “Benefits from implementing the scheme would be to inform the public about the hygiene standards in the premises at the time of the most recent inspection, drive up standards and adoption of best practice across the industry, for example requiring documentary proof that the person wishing to be tattooed is 18 years old and above and reduce the risk of incidents of infection and transmission of infectious diseases from tattooing procedures.”

After inspection parlours will be rated from one - requires improvement, to four - very good.

The scheme will be voluntary and all 54 tattoo studios in Swindon, will be invited to take part.

Those that decide to opt in will be asked to pay to be inspected and rated.

The first inspection will cost £100, and if a studio wants a new inspection if it has had a poor rating that will cost £50. An annual inspection will also cost £100.

But Mike Hervin, the director of Skin Graffiti in Commercial Road in the town centre is not that keen on the proposal.

His objection isn’t so much the prospect of being inspected and rated, but the four graduations of cleanliness.

He said: “I think there should be a standard of hygiene and cleanliness, and if you meet that standard, fine.

"If not, then you either have to get up to the standard or you face losing your licence to practice.

“I think the same about restaurants as well - they just should all be at a good level of hygiene.

"I don’t look at the ratings when I’m going out to a restaurant, I go somewhere where I know they’re doing it right.”

Mr Hervin, who has been in the tattoo business for more than 30 years also is concerned that customers might get the wrong idea from a rating.

He said: “If the ratings are for hygiene and cleanliness, you could have a place with a good rating, but the standard of their tattooing isn’t that good.

“People might look at the rating and think they’ll be getting a good tattoo, and they might not.”

The meeting starts at 5.30pm on Thursday at the civic offices. Members of the public are entitled to attend.