New group campaigns against ‘late levy’9th August, 2013 by Andy Young
A new group, set up by people from across policing, media and the licensed trade, is launching a campaign against proposed late night levies on pubs, clubs and restaurants.
As reported in db a number of local councils across the country are in consultation about the levy, which will see establishment paying an extra levy for serving alcohol after 12pm.
The Common Sense Alliance, led by the former assistant chief constable to Northern Ireland Peter Sheridan, plans to help local businesses “work with their local councils, police and community to find alternative ways to tackle town centre disorder at night”.
In a statement the Alliance said: “The rationale for the levy is to empower local authorities to charge businesses that supply alcohol late into the night, an added financial burden to cover the extra service cost that the night time economy generates for police and licensing authorities. However, these businesses already pay business rates that cover this, so why create another financial burden?
“Some argue the late night levy would penalise the majority of night time operators instead of the irresponsible few. What is worse is that at this stage there is no real understanding as to how these funds will be used.”
Leeds City Council is close to agreeing to go ahead with a late night levy, which it is estimated would raise £1 million, which would go to the police, local council and other agencies.
Roy Ramm, former commander of specialist operations at New Scotland Yard and founder member of The Common Sense Alliance said: “This levy is punitive and unnecessary and punishes the majority of responsible operators for the irresponsible few. It does not tackle the root causes of the issue.
“I served with the Metropolitan Police for 27 years and there are plenty of schemes across the country where local police, the community and operators are working together to improve anti-social behaviour in town centres.”
Nash Gooderham, CEO of Live Music Management added: “High taxation, cheap supermarket alcohol and the economic downturn means that margins are tight and this levy could well be the difference between some operators staying in business and not. The businesses already pay business rates that cover this, so why create another financial burden?”