On the 17th September Southampton City Council made a decision to introduce the late night levy. The levy will affect all premises licensed to sell alcohol between the hours of 0001 and 0600 and will come in to force on the 1st April 2015.

Whilst the council has at this stage decided not to grant a reduction to any category of premises at present, they have decided to exempt the following permitted categories from paying the levy:

Hotel or guest house, lodging house or hostel at which the supply of alcohol between midnight and 6am on any day may only be made to a person who is -

  • staying at the premises, and
  • For consumption on the premises.

A theatre at which the supply of alcohol between midnight and 6am on any day may only be made to a person for consumption on the premises who is -

  • A ticket holder in relation to a relevant production at the premises,
  • Concerned in the performance, organisation or management of the relevant production, or
  • Invited to the premises as a guest to attend an event to which the public do not have access.

A cinema at which the supply of alcohol between midnight and 6am on any day may only be made to a person for consumption on the premises who is -

  • A ticket holder in relation to the exhibition of a film at the premises, or
  • Invited to the premises as a guest to attend an event to which the public do not have access.

Premises in respect of which -

  • The provision of facilities for the playing of bingo is authorised by a bingo premises licence granted in accordance with section 163 of the Gambling Act 2005,
  • The holder of a bingo premises licence is authorised to provide facilities for the playing of bingo by virtue of a non-remote bingo operating licence granted in accordance with section 74 of the Gambling Act 2005, and
  • The playing of bingo is the primary activity carried on at the premises.  

A club which is registered as a community amateur sports club by virtue of section 658 of the Corporation Tax Act 2010.

Community premises in relation to which the premises licence contains the alternative licence condition.

Authorised to supply alcohol for consumption on the premises between midnight and 6am on 1st January.

The council has decided that 70% of the net amount of levy payments will be paid to Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner. The council will apply the balance of 30% in accordance with regulations. Councillor Satvir Kaur is reported as saying that the council has "decided to take the governments advice to implement a late night levy…we believe it is fair and reasonable that companies benefitting from the night time economy should consider to the costs it generates". The decision not to grant reduction categories has attracted criticism from Kate Nicholls, chief executive of AMLR who has said that "there is a danger that this levy may undermine support and funding for best practice schemes, such as Best Bar None, already in place in Southampton which the council recognises already make the city a safe and enjoyable place in Southampton".

Southampton CC joins the councils of Nottingham, Chelmsford, the City of London, Islington, Cheltenham and Newcastle who have adopted the levy. Accees a copy of the current levy and EMRO timeline here - Newcastle City Council were the first authority to introduce the levy on 1st November 2013, and it will be interesting to see following the anniversary of the introduction of the levy how successful the council has been in collecting the money due, and what impact this has had on the night time economy.