Late night levy: trade fights for exemptions

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Late night levy, Home office

Levy will help pay for police
Levy will help pay for police
The fight is now on to ensure that responsible premises are exempted from the late night levy after Home Secretary Theresa May said the Government...

The fight is now on to ensure that responsible premises are exempted from the late night levy after Home Secretary Theresa May said the Government would press ahead with its plans.

May said at the Conservative Conference yesterday that it would "allow councils to charge more for late-night licences, so they can spend more on late-night policing".

This is despite massive trade opposition during the consultation process, which only ended on 8 September.

Following a meeting with Home Office officials Paul Smith, executive director of bar and club trade body Noctis, said: "The political will to produce enabling legislation and secondary legislation to bring in the levy is most definitely there," he said. "However, the practical details have not been worked out yet.

"We now have to make sure that responsible operators are not penalised and that there are exemptions for those with Best Bar None accreditation or Purple Flag.

"Given the political will to press ahead with the levy, this may be a reasonable outcome."

Smith warned that if there were no exemptions for responsible operators, Best Bar None — which the Home Office helps fund — could be "killed off". Smith said: "It could be an unintended consequence and I don't think the Home Office would want to undo all the good work that has gone in."

The Home Office said that there was no date set for a decision on the other items it consulted on such as the inclusion of health as a licensing objective or extending the voluntary closure period. "The consultation has only just closed and there are plenty of submissions to read through," a spokesman said.

Related topics: Licensing law

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