Press reports suggest that Islington Council is already considering the imposition of a late night levy, following comments by Islington Councillor, Paul Convery, executive member for community safety.
As reported in our last Review, the Levy is due to come into force in October under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. It will allow Licensing Authorities to impose a levy for sales of alcohol between midnight and 6am. Specific consultations on the imposition of a levy cannot take place until the legislation is in force. However, Councillor Convery’s comment that “We’ve got to find a way of meeting the costs of [regulating licensed premises and managing the after effects] and so we’ll be including our commitment to adopting the late night levy in our new licensing policy” gives a very clear indication that they will do so.
This latest story follows earlier indications from Woking and Northampton Licensing Authorities. Woking Council actually issued a consultation document with responses requested by June 2012, but later withdrew it, following comments that no consultation should have taken place until the provisions are in force. In a report to the local licensing committee, Northampton Borough Council outlined the town’s 178 businesses that would be affected by the levy, and claimed that £160,000 could be raised by implementing the measure.
We will report on the amended sections to the Guidance dealing with the Levy on publication. It is anticipated that the Guidance will be issued on 31 October i.e. the date that the provisions come into force.