Hackney late-night levy disastrous- ALMR

429 licensed premises in Hackney risk enduring fines if found to be selling alcohol after midnight
28/07/2017 - 10:29
The ALMR has warned that Hackney Borough Council’s decision to introduce a late-night levy could have a disastrous effect on the area’s hospitality businesses.

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said that Hackney Council’s vote on Wednesday (26 July) in favour of a levy could result in closures of the East London boroughs' bars, nightclubs and pubs.

“This is an extremely retrograde action by the council, one that will heap costs on vital businesses in the area and is likely to have a disastrous effect for employers who provide so much," said Nicholls.

From November 1, 429 licensed Hackney premises– pubs, clubs, off-licences and supermarkets included – that sell alcohol between midnight and 6am will have to pay a fine ranging from £299 to £4,400 depending on the value of the premises.

Nicholls added: “Clubs, bars and other late-night venues in Hackney contribute enormously socially and economically, and help make Hackney the vibrant and attractive place it is. Heaping costs on them is only going to risk driving them out of business.

"Dance Tunnel, a much-loved venue in the area, was forced to close its doors recently due to spiralling costs and a tough legislative environment. This move by the council only risks closure of even more venues.

“This is particularly disappointing given the recent common sense shown by Gloucester Council in its decision not to introduce a late-night levy and the House of Lords Licensing Committee’s recommendation that the levy be scrapped. Hackney Council is risking investment and employment in the area and the erosion of the vibrant night-time economy.”

Earlier this week, Gloucester Council rejected proposals to introduce a late-night levy and instead opted to introduce a Business Improvement District (BID).

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