Government's pay-for-policing plans 'unworkable'

Related tags Alcohol disorder zones London borough London City of london Westminster

Government plans for pay-for-policing in "alcohol disorder zones" have come under fire from the UK's largest licensing authority for being...

Government plans for pay-for-policing in "alcohol disorder zones" have come under fire from the UK's largest licensing authority for being unworkable.

Cllr Audrey Lewis, cabinet member for licensing at Westminster City Council, has attacked plans which could see the government recover policing costs from pubs that consistently add to problems in town centres.

Culture secretary Tessa Jowell announced a 12-week consultation period to discuss the proposal last week, which would include targeting licensees in designated areas and fining them after an eight-week warning period. "This is nothing but complete spin from the government," said Cllr Lewis. "It's a gimmicky idea that won't work.

"I have sat down with trade representatives in Westminster since the announcement and we agree it will be impossible to target specific pubs without punishing responsible licensees.

"We already work closely with the trade and police to solve these problems and don't need new measures. The government can't apply a national rule like this because all areas are different."

Meanwhile, Westminster and other English local authorities have reiterated concerns that licensing fees won't cover the costs of implementing or maintaining the changes under the new Licensing Act.

The final fee structure was announced on January 21 and has attracted much criticism from licensees - although councils are adamant it is still not enough.

The London Borough of Camden is seeking assurance from government that council taxpayers will not foot the billas projections show it is still likely to incur costs of around £2m over the next four years.

Camden councillor Jane Roberts said: "The fees are still not high enough to cover costs of a licensing regime in boroughs such as Camden and Westminster, where there are a large number of licensed premises. Unless they are increased, council taxpayers in these boroughs will be left to make up the shortfall."

Related articles:

Government goes for pay-for-policing (21 January 2005)

Trade criticism over pay-for-policing plans (21 January 2005)

Increase in final licensing fees (21 January 2005)

Related topics Legislation

Property of the week


£ 60,000 - Leasehold

Busy location on coastal main road Extensively renovated detached public house Five trade areas (100)  Sizeable refurbished 4-5 bedroom accommodation Newly created beer garden (125) Established and popular business...

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more