I have had meetings with environmental health and other council members in Wandsworth and due to legislation they cannot refuse anyone being granted a license and it seems that now councils around the UK are actually considering handing out mobile licenses.
Also, studio's who obtain a license on the grounds that they meet good hygiene standards along with health and safety, but these are not enough as the studio may be clean but it can still be operated by "artists" that have no education into tattooing, even without the ability to draw in some cases.
We run a very clean and professional environment and we chose artists based on artistic and technical ability so our customers are provided with the best possible tattoo and we feel that this should be standard practice. If you think of it in this way, you wouldn't go to a restaurant that has an amazingly clean kitchen but the chef is the worst chef in the world and he uses reduced produce from the bottom shelf at the supermarket.
The other sad point is that planning in London needs proprietors to apply for Sui generic planning applications. This means we fall under the same category as sex shops, massage parlour’s, tanning shops, laundrettes, etc.... But we should fall under a more professional category as we perform a very technical and demanding practice.
The problem we are facing now because of the huge demand and popularity of tattoos and the spotlight the media has placed on them we get business owners who fall under the Sui generic category are adding tattooing to their existing business and hiring very inexperienced artists, often whom have left their apprenticeship early and are trying to accelerate their earning ability or artists who are just not good at all and producing the "illegal home tattooist" quality, but in a business environment. Also, they are buying poor quality equipment shipped in from China and there are several cases in the media where counterfeit inks have been contaminated and needles that are not sterile.
Due to shows on TV people see that tattooing is very popular, profitable and think that it is something you can just pick up and do, but in actual fact even if you can put pencil to paper and create the most breathtaking art then its a whole other skill to be able to use a needle and ink to transfer that skill into beautiful tattoos on skin.
Everybody, please help the nation become informed on proper practice and guide them in the right direction to get good quality work with no risks attached.