Liverpool signs off late-night levy plans

By James Evison

- Last updated on GMT

Revamped proposal: Liverpool County Council has agreed to roll out a late-night levy
Revamped proposal: Liverpool County Council has agreed to roll out a late-night levy

Related tags Liverpool Cheshire

Plans for a late-night levy (LNL) have been introduced by Liverpool City Council (LCC) following deferral of a decision in March.

The move, which follows extensive consultation on the issue, will see an LNL introduced across the Liverpool city area, and follows a decision earlier in the week by neighbouring Cheshire East Council to abandon such plans​.

Consultation for the levy revealed 63% of respondents agreed with an LNL in some form – but only 20% agreed with council’s initial proposals.

Strong opposition

It also showed ‘strong opposition’ among licence holders serving alcohol between the hours of midnight and 6am – when the scheme would be put into practice.

Four out of 10 respondents to the LNL survey said that it would negatively impact business, and a fifth said that ‘pre-loading premises’ should be included.

The local authority’s CitySafe scheme, which aims to highlight the issues around the night-time economy (NTE) and safety concerns, said in its consultation report that it supported the LNL to ensure its ‘hard-fought’ Purple Flag status for excellence in managing the NTE was protected.

Public health

LCC interim director of public health Dr Sandra Davies claimed that the levy would assist in delivering the licensing objective of upholding public safety, as well as ease the burden on A&E departments across the city, created by alcohol misuse.

Despite concerns – and the original recommendation to the reject the LNL by the licensing committee of the council in March – councillors have now decided to take forward the levy, which could net the authority more than £750,000 in its first year of operation from April 2017.

The original plans that were scrapped in March have been changed – as requested by the licensing committee – with revised proposals to be trialled for a year, and will see business improvement district premises be exempt from fees alongside accommodation, theatre, cinema, bingo venues and local village pubs.

Related topics Licensing law

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