WINDOW cleaners will now need a licence to operate in Largs.

The new rule was unanimously agreed at a meeting of North Ayrshire Council’s licensing committee and will come into effect from next year.

Any window cleaner must apply for a £126 three-year licence as soon as possible after 21 May.

The decision comes following advice from Police Scotland.

It was agreed that as window cleaners have access to properties they – like taxi drivers – they should be fit and proper and have undergone the proper checks.

The proposal was put forward at a council meeting in January and has now been approved at the end of the consultation process.

Councillor Ian Murdoch, who runs a window cleaning business, says the idea makes sense.

He told the News: "As a local businessman with a window cleaning business, I welcome it.

"I have been asking for licensing for years and I think it is a good thing.

From January 21 it will be a criminal offence for window cleaners to operate in the area without a licence.

Cllr Ronnie McNicol, convenor of the licensing committee, added: “The licensing of window cleaners is at the discretion of each local authority.

"We have taken advice from our colleagues at Police Scotland and feel that this is the right and most appropriate action to take.

“Police Scotland reported that over the past 12 months there were 17 alleged offences committed by people who at time of detection gave their occupation as a window cleaner.

"We feel that we have a duty of care to the residents of North Ayrshire and by properly regulating window cleaners we are taking steps in doing this.

"It will also protect the reputation of all the hard-working and honest window cleaners in North Ayrshire.”