Warrington rejects EMRO; Woking rejects EMRO and late-night levy

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Licensing committee Proposal Proposals

Woking Council: EMRO would deter local business development and late-night levy would fail to target right premises
Woking Council: EMRO would deter local business development and late-night levy would fail to target right premises
Warrington Council has voted against the introduction of an early morning restriction order (EMRO) and Woking councillors have rejected plans to introduce either an EMRO or a late-night levy.

Warrington’s licensing committee rejected the proposal for an EMRO last night after receiving submissions from the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the local trade. The Council had been discussing plans to ban alcohol sales in the town centre after 2am.

Meanwhile, the licensing committee at Woking Council has rejected plans to introduce either a late-night levy or an EMRO.

The authority decided an EMRO would deter local business development and potentially send patrons of Woking’s night time economy to other nearby towns.

Insufficient revenue

It also determined that the potential revenue from a late-night levy would be insufficient to provide any real benefit to the town and would be an additional tax on legitimate licensing activities, failing to target individual premises that may cause concern.

During the consultation period, 56 responses were submitted to the Council, 33 of which were against introducing the levy.

'Slap in the face'

One response from the licensee of the Crown in Horsell stated: “I think this is just another slap in the face for the already struggling pubs. We have to contend with high rates levied by W.B.C [Woking Borough Council], high rents and high prices levied by the pub companies, and all this with falling custom.

“I for one think that this will see more pubs closing, the Crown in Horsell which I currently run being one of them. When are people going to realise that more taxes and higher prices will not repair our economy but only shrink it more?”

The Licensing Committee will refer their proposal to the Council’s Executive.

Norwich update

Norwich Council has delayed a hearing on a proposed EMRO until next year and an alternative proposal is now envisaged, according to ALMR.

'Super Tuesday'

Commenting on the three cases, ALMR strategic affairs director Kate Nicholls said:“Yesterday really was the trade’s Super Tuesday where our concerted efforts to convince the merits of working in partnership with us and against EMRO and levy consultations came to fruition.

"In Warrington, we successfully convinced the Licensing Committee that an EMRO would be hugely damaging to local businesses, with trade simply migrating away. In Woking, the Licensing Committee rejected a proposal for a Levy and an EMRO after we persuaded them of the merits of partnership working and in Norwich we forced a rethink and delayed proceedings until the New Year.

"In each case, we have raised serious procedural concerns about the handling of consultations and it is clear that in too many cases the police and licensing authority are failing to undertake a robust impact assessment to determine the socio-economic, community and financial risks of proceeding. Where they do, many of them are rightly deciding to think again.”

Related topics Licensing law Health & safety

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