Licensees in Brighton and Hove have spoken out against calls to introduce a late-night levy in the area.

Local police officials believes this could be a good way to ease the burden on the emergency services and fund safety measures in Brighton city centre.

However, the The Brighton and Hove Licensees Association has said the idea is "truly woeful" and could lead to businesses and livelihoods being destroyed, the Brighton and Hove Independent reports.

Nick Griffin, spokesman for the body, described this as a "really emotive issue" among publicans, as they already pay "huge" business rates and "pay for the police twice because we pay business rates and council tax on the same building".

As a result, he believes the trade will fight any plans to introduce a late-night levy, should an official consultation be launched.

Chief inspector Katy Woolford is one advocate of the measure. Speaking recently to Brighton and Hove City Council's licensing committee, she said funding provisions and services that minimise risks presented late at night is "becoming increasingly challenging". 

As a result, she believes putting a late-night levy in place would ensure that licensed premises who wish to keep trading after a particular time "pay a contribution to keep the city safe for those who come to enjoy it".

Brighton and Hove City Council has not yet made any official announcement regarding the implementation of a late-night levy.

However, licensing committee member Councillor Jeane Lepper has sought to assure concerned licensees that the authority "may well have a view which may well not chime in with the police". She added that there are "many views" about the policy among various stakeholders.