The chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, Brigid Simmonds, has been commenting on proposed changes to the Late Night Levy, which would make it possible for local authorities to target specific streets with tax payments for venues that stay open between midnight and six am.
This will make it easier for local authorities to impose a Late Night Levy – something the BBPA has always been against, as it is a tax and not a local partnership.
We are therefore against the flexibility that is being proposed, which would allow local authorities to impose this tax on particular geographic areas, rather than the whole local authority.
Local authorities need to think carefully about how a Late Night Levy could affect a vibrant night-time economy and whether partnership with local businesses, such as through a Business Improvement District, would not be better for both residents and local businesses.
Widening the tax to late-night refreshment is to be welcomed, but since it is based on rateable value, the on-trade is likely to bear the greatest burden. We welcome the requirement for local authorities to publish data on how it is spent.
The changes to Cumulative Impact Policies to put them on a Statutory footing should only be justified by evidence, and it is important that each application for a new licence, or variation of a licence, is considered on its own merit.
We welcome the frequent review of policies based on evidence, and particularly where crime and disorder are decreasing, but it is important to note that CIPs were originally devised as a temporary policy whilst the underlying causes of any local issues were addressed – and they should be considered in this context.