LATE NIGHT LEVY CONSULTATION
A Late Night Levy could be charged on licensed premises which sell alcohol after midnight in Nottingham to help with the cost of policing the night-time economy.
Nottingham City Council is to consult on a scheme similar to one already introduced in Newcastle and being considered by other UK towns and cities.
Nottinghamshire Police estimate that policing and other arrangements to reduce and prevent alcohol-related crime and disorder between midnight and 6am in Nottingham currently costs more than £1.5m a year.
A Late Night Levy could raise around £300,000 a year to contribute towards these costs and enhance existing arrangements, with extra police officers and community protection officers patrolling the city's streets at night. When a thousand people were surveyed as part of the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner's Alcohol Strategy and Action Plan, almost 60% of respondents supported the idea of a Late Night Levy - powers for which are contained in law passed in 2011.
Proposals show that the Levy could vary from £299 to £4,440 a year, depending on the rateable value of premises and the extent to which the business relies on alcohol sales for its income. It would be levied on premises selling alcohol between 12.00 am and 6.00 am, with the expectation that around a fifth of such premises might vary their licence to avoid the charge. Some types of premises would be exempt such as theatres, cinemas, bingo halls, sports clubs and community halls. Also, premises with one-off late-night alcohol sales on New Years Eve would not be included. The Council has also a proposed 30% reduction to the fee for members of the BID.
Funds from the Levy would be split 70:30 between Nottinghamshire Police and Nottingham City Council to tackle alcohol-related crime and disorder, which increases steadily throughout the evening, peaking between 10.00 pm and 2.00 am.
City Council Leader, Councillor Jon Collins, said: "We have a very popular night-time economy that attracts huge numbers of people, which unfortunately can lead to problems which are dealt with by police officers and community protection officers, at a cost to the public purse.
"Our repeated awarding of Purple Flag status confirms that Nottingham manages its night-time economy well, and a Late Night Levy would see licensed premises contribute towards doing more to ensure that everyone can enjoy a safe and incident-free night out."
Members of the council's Licensing Committee on 16 December 2013 approved plans to consult on the scheme for three months, with the possibility it could be introduced from October 2014 if it goes ahead.
The consultation has now started and will run until the 6 April 2014. Please log on to this website for more information about the consultation, and to find out how to make yiour views known: