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London night czar asks councils for 12-month licence fee holiday

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

At financial risk: Amy Lamé says ‘businesses must reduce spending to a bare minimum to avoid permanent closure’
At financial risk: Amy Lamé says ‘businesses must reduce spending to a bare minimum to avoid permanent closure’

Related tags: UnitedWeStand, London, Public house, Hotel, Alcoholic beverage

Greater London night czar Amy Lamé has written to each of the city region’s local authorities requesting they suspend collection of annual licence and late-night levy fees for a year

Lamé, who was appointed Greater London’s night czar in 2016 and tasked with ensuring that London thrives as a 24-hour city in line with Mayor Sadiq Khan’s vision for the capital, wrote to London’s 33 local authorities to outline the severe risks facing licensed venues during the Covid-19 lockdown.

“Some, like grassroots live music venues and LGBTQ+ spaces, are especially vulnerable as their numbers have only just stabilised after a decade of decline,” she wrote.

“The Government’s support package has provided a vital lifeline. However, without customer income, businesses must reduce spending to a bare minimum to avoid permanent closure. 

“We are working with Government, local authorities, businesses, landlords and others to ensure that as many night-time businesses as possible can survive through this period. They will play a vital role in the recovery of our high streets after the crisis has passed. 

“The mayor (Sadiq Khan) and I are asking all London local authorities to consider providing their licensed premises with a licence fee holiday for 12 months. 

“This could include suspending collection of annual licence fees and late-night levy fees where applicable. It mirrors the business rates holiday for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses.”

As previously reported by The Morning Advertiser​, more than half of the late-night levies adopted in England are in London, with each of the last three imposed on venues in the capital.

Related topics: Legislation, UnitedWeStand

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