Chelmsford publicans hit out at 'farcical' late-night levy consultation

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Golden fleece

Local licensee Brett Sanders: 'It is felt that it has come in by stealth'
Local licensee Brett Sanders: 'It is felt that it has come in by stealth'
Chelmsford operators have hit out at the “underhand” and “farcical” use of figures by the local council and police during its late-night levy consultation.

Chelmsford’s licensing and regulatory committee recommended introducing the fee at a meeting last week [2 July], after claiming that 60% of the 33 responses to its public questionnaire on the measure were in favour of the proposals.

However, licensees have complained that the statistic is misleading, as it does not include objections from the several members of the trade who submitted written responses, but did not fill in the questionnaire. They said if these were included it would show the majority of people were against the levy.

'It's come in by stealth'

Brett Sanders, who manages the town-centre Golden Fleece, said on behalf of Chelmsford Publink: “That, quite frankly, is wrong. People have responded to the consultation one way or another. It is felt that it has come in by stealth.”

Publicans also claimed that police included one set of figures in the consultation document, then cited different figures in the meeting.

Colin Goodwin, area manager at Chicago’s, said: “We understand the crime figures quoted by those in favour of the levy included traffic offences and domestic issues, which are not a fair indication of crime caused by a late-night economy.”

Chelmsford City Council said while it was “not possible” to incorporate the written responses into the questionnaire responses, all were appended to the report considered by the committee.

Related topics Licensing law Health & safety

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