Milton Keynes to reject late night levy3rd September, 2013 by Andy Young
Pubs, clubs and bars in Milton Keynes could be set to avoid being hit with a late night levy after the local council’s licensing sub-committee voted against the proposal.
The late night levy, which is being considered by several councils across the UK, would see businesses that sell alcohol after midnight being charged an extra fee. The money would then be contributed towards the cost of late night policing and clean-up.
Milton Keynes’ council officials had supported the introduction of the levy and the licensing sub-committee had been asked to recommend that the full committee go ahead with it. But instead the sub-committee recommended that the fee should not be introduced, so it remains to be seen whether the full licensing committee will implement the levy.
A council spokesman said: “The licensing sub-committee resolved a recommendation to the licensing committee that a late night levy not be adopted for Milton Keynes.
“The licensing committee will consider this recommendation in due course, at its meeting on September 18.”
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of The British Beer & Pub Association, welcomed the news, saying: “It’s encouraging news to see another local authority stepping back from the Late Night Levy. It’s clear that the message on partnership working, and on avoiding damage to jobs and town centre business, is getting through to councillors.”
The Common Sense Alliance, which campaigns against the introduction of the late night levies also praised the sib committee.
In a statement the Alliance said: “The Common Sense Alliance commends Milton Keynes Council for rejecting the proposed Late Night Levy.
“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?”