The town’s licensing authority has overturned an earlier recommendation of the licensing sub-committee not to introduce the measure, according to law firm John Gaunt & Partners.
“The full committee met this evening to consider the recommendation received from the sub-committee that came down narrowly in favour if rejecting the call for a levy,” the firm said.
The Committee voted by five votes to three to reject the recommendation in favour of introducing the levy on the 1 May 2014.
“The levy is to be reviewed after 18 months with a view to removing the levy if had not proved effective in reducing the problems arising from the late night economy.”
According to the legal firm, Milton Keynes’ police commander told the committee that the levy funds would not be used to put more police on the streets, but instead fund “Safer MK” and police initiatives to make the town a safer place to go out.
“With no trade representatives present, disappointingly perhaps there were no representations from the trade to counter any of the arguments made against the recommendation or refute any of the claims made as to the merit of the levy,” John Gaunt said.
Kate Nicholls, strategic affairs director at the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), said the body had submitted written representations arguing against a late-night levy ahead of the full committee meeting but opportunities for the trade to speak were at the council's discretion.
Milton Keynes is set to join Newcastle in implementing the controversial levy.
The levy means venues that are authorised to supply alcohol between 1am and 6am would be subject to an annual fee. The fee levels are based on rateable value and some exemptions would be available.