Two more local authorities have joined the Late Night Levy club with both Chelmsford and Nottingham City Councils ratifying proposals to introduce the levy in November.
Within both authorities the levy will apply to those premises authorised for the sale of alcohol between the hours of 0100 and 0600, and will come in to force on 1st November 2014.
Both councils will split revenue raised by the levy 70:30 between the police and the council and will be used to fund additional projects and initiatives to make city centres safer.
Councils, however, have been criticised for not properly considering levy consultation responses. In Nottingham 74% of respondents to the consultation were against the proposal. The Morning Advertiser also recently reported that the City of London did not give appropriate consideration to the extensive and negative consultation responses received from local businesses and trade organisations.
As reported in our earlier article the concept of a LNL has been widely criticised by the licensed trade who consider they already pay enough outgoings in an increasingly tough and competitive industry. JD Wetherspoons has publicly stated that "wherever possible" they would vary licences so as to avoid having to pay the levy.
Concerns have been raised that the levy will be damaging to cities’ economies and thwart the successful partnership working that has been implemented between businesses, police and councils in some regions. To this end, Nottingham City Council has decided that businesses which are members of its Business Improvement District will be exempt from the levy. Weymouth and Portland Borough Council has recently rejected proposals to consult on a levy or early morning restriction order due to the potential negative impact of a terminal hour and financial implications on local businesses.
To date, six councils have implemented the levy (Newcastle, Chelmsford, Nottingham, City of London, Islington and Cheltenham) with four councils (Tameside, York and Southampton and Liverpool) currently consulting on proposals to introduce one.
Liverpool is the most recent council to decide to consult on the introduction of the levy (where estimates of the income it may generate vary considerably from between £60,000 at the lower end and £420,000 at the upper end). This consultation process will commence in October of this year.
This timeline shows the current position in so far as consultation and implementation of the levy and EMRO's are concerned.