Liverpool council to consider late-night levy for bars and clubs
The Licensing Committee of Liverpool City Council is due to meet this Tuesday (September 8) to consider launching a consultation over proposals to hit bars, pubs and clubs with a late-night levy.
If it comes to fruition, the scheme will see licensed businesses in Liverpool that supply alcohol after midnight forced to pay an annual fee to offset the cost of the night-time economy.
Merseyside Police, which supports the levy, has estimated that it costs approximately £540k to cover central Liverpool between midnight and 6am, although that figure is believed to hit £1m if the impact on other response units is factored in.
The council has estimated that around 800 businesses would be affected, with the size of the annual charge depending on the rateable value of the premises.
It has been suggested that for around 700 of the premises affected, the cost will amount to between £299 and £1259 per annum, with around 20 businesses expected to pay £4,440, which is the highest rate.
However, the council has said that these figures are dependent on the outcome of the consultation process, should it go ahead.
The city’s mayoral lead for community safety, Cllr Emily Spurrell, said: “Liverpool is a vibrant and safe city and its night-time economy is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people every week.
“Obviously this all comes at a cost arising from the minority of people who cause crime and disorder, and the money raised from the late night levy would be used to help offset this.”
She added: “We know that our community safety partners are supportive of the introduction of a levy, so what we are doing now is going out to consultation on a proposal.”
Almost three quarters (70%) of the cash raised through the levy would go to the police and fund anything from additional weekend staff to specific operations, while the remainder would go to the council.
The cabinet member for licensing, Cllr Steve Munby, said: “It is important to note that if we decide to proceed with the consultation, it is just the very start of the process.
“No decision will be made until we have completed the consultation and assessed all of the feedback and it is possible that the proposal will change dependent upon the responses that we receive.”
The consultation will begin this month, with a decision over whether or not to implement it made in January. If the scheme is given the green light, it would come into effect in June 2016.
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