Multiple operator Nick Griffin, of Pleisure Pubs, who is also spokesperson for the Brighton & Hove Licensees Association, wrote a letter to the Council outlining licensees’ opposition to the controversial measures which could be implemented by local authorities from next April.
The late-night levy is an annual fee which local councils can collect from premises that sell alcohol after midnight, whereas an EMRO will restrict the sale of alcohol at such venues for any period of time between midnight and 6am.
In his letter to the Council, Griffin said that “many of the issues of the night time economy in Brighton & Hove stem from the predominance of pre-loading” and has urged the police and Council to keep faith in a partnerhsip approach with licensed premises in the city, whilst rejecting the levy and EMROs.
“The LNL (late-night levy) not only imposes a disproportionate fee on one sector of the licensed trade, the on-trade, but it is reactionary and risks all the good, progressive work that the partnership approach has already seen materialisem,” said Griffin.
“The policy, when applied to Brighton & Hove, could have disastrous consequences for our city centre - totally the opposite of that intended and completely at odds with the progress we have all made in recent years. Introducing a LNL is likely to lead to the vast majority of suburban pubs, bars and clubs shutting their doors earlier than they currently do.
“This will push an ever greater number into our town centre and rather than be a policy for lowering crime and anti-social behaviour, it is likely to exacerbate it.”
He added: “I recognise that there are a vocal minority who will be very much in favour of EMROs, but I sincerely hope we can also factor in the silent majority who love living in our great city.
“A city partially dependent on a vibrant licensed economy would be signing a self-inflicted suicide note in introducing policies aimed at limiting the main industry it has.”
The letter is available in full below.