Arun hosts may be spared late-night levy

By Adam Pescod

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Late-night levy West sussex

Arun hosts may be spared late-night levy
Pubs in an area of West Sussex may not have to pay the controversial late-night levy as local councillors believe “it would not be very conducive to business” in the region.

In a meeting about the levy, which will tax licensed premises that open after midnight, members of Arun District Council’s licensing and enforcement committee said: “This piece of legislation would appear to be designed for major urban conurbations where late-night drinking causes serious social problems, which are not experienced in the Arun district.”

However, contrary to reports, the council has not categorically said it would rule out introducing the levy, which could affect such seaside resorts as Bognor Regis and Littlehampton.

Committee chair and Arun District Council’s licensing and development officer, Sarah Meertens, said: “There is concern at the moment, with the night-time economy struggling around here, that if the late-night levy is introduced, it could have a negative impact.

“When I go out and do night-time inspections we are not finding that places are massively busy and pub owners are telling me that they will not be able to afford to pay [the levy].

“We haven’t looked at whether or not we will be implementing it yet, but these are the issues we will outline in our consultation submission to the Government.”

Graham Tyler, vice-chairman of the committee, added: “We feel that the late-night levy is probably geared to a much larger city centre than the Arun district and its towns.

"The pub trade as a whole is on its knees and putting another levy on it would not be very conducive to business, so we have got to keep that in mind. Furthermore, we don’t have the same problems as larger towns and cities when it comes to late-night drinking.”

The controversial levy and early morning restriction orders (EMROs) are expected to come into force under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act in October. The consultation is available at​.

Related topics Licensing law

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