Cheltenham Borough Council has responded to criticism of the late-night levy by licensees in the area.

Premises that trade between midnight and 06:00 are currently required to pay the levy, the proceeds of which go towards funding policing the town centre between these times and keeping the area tidy.

Louis Krog, licensing and business support team leader at the authority, told the Gloucestershire Echo the money raised "is intended to fund activities to help manage and improve the night-time economy".

However, some critics of the policy believe those who are being made to pay will not benefit from these projects.

For instance, Suffolk Arms landlord Alan Meaden argued that the council is charging "the wrong people" and should instead be taking money from big companies, rather than smaller pubs.

He stated that country pubs and smaller establishments should not be required to pay a late-night levy to trade after midnight, particularly as trouble is more likely to arise at bigger venues.

Gordon Duff of John Gordons Wine and Whiskey Bar added that the late-night levy is another charge on top of "many fees and levies against businesses, particularly small businesses".

He accepted there is little he can do about situation, but said it would be "fine" if the money is put towards "something useful".

Licensed premises are required to pay between £299 and £4,440 per year in order to sell alcohol between midnight and 06:00, with the variations in the levy being based on the size of the premises.