Drinking venues criticise plan for late night charges

thisisoxfordshire: Landlord James Knox at the Duke’s Cut pub. He is angry about a possible levy on pubs which sell alcohol late Buy this photo » Landlord James Knox at the Duke’s Cut pub. He is angry about a possible levy on pubs which sell alcohol late

TRADERS have condemned plans that could see late night drinking venues across Oxford charged for selling alcohol after midnight.

Next month local authorities will be given the choice of adopting a city-wide “late night levy”, that charges pubs, nightclubs, bars and restaurants that serve alcohol between midnight and 6am.

Traders have condemned the idea as a “disgrace”, branding it as yet another tax for struggling businesses in the middle of a recession.

But it has received backing from local people concerned about the effect the late night economy has on their lives.

The Government is introducing the idea so taxpayers don’t foot as much of the bill for dealing with drinking related problems.

The majority of the money raised by the charge would go to the police, to combat anti-social behaviour.

 

The late night levy is included in the Government’s Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. The act states that, if adopted by local authorities, the charge would be based on the rateable value of the premises and the type of business it was running, starting from £299 for the lowest band to £4,440 for the highest.

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Money raised through the scheme would be shared out, with police receiving at least 70 per cent of the revenue, and councils allowed to keep around 30 per cent as the licensing authorities.

Participation in the scheme would be optional for councils, but Green councillor Craig Simmons has urged Oxford City Council to take up the policy.

He said: “It’s not a large amount of money and it has to be spent in areas where there are problems. That’s something I hope we can get cross-party support for.”

Divinity Road resident Elizabeth Mills has led campaigns over noise problems in the area on previous occasions, and has also welcomed the idea of a late night levy.

She said: “In principle I think it’s an extremely good idea. I think the police should have a bigger presence in the city at night, and if this helps that then it can only be a good thing.”

City board member for crime and community safety Dee Sinclair wouldn’t rule out introducing the scheme. But she said she didn’t want to raise hopes about how money raised could be spent.

She said: “I wouldn’t rule it out, but it’s very early days. I think we’re going to get an update on this in October.

“I think we have to be very cautious about anything coming from central government at the moment, and we just need to look at the detail.”

The idea has been criticised by pub landlords in Oxford, including James Knox, from The Duke’s Cut in Park End Street. Under the proposals, he would have to pay £768 per year extra, a price he claims landlords cannot afford to pay.

He said: “I think it’s a disgrace. We pay business rates and we struggle as it is in this industry. The last thing we need is another tax.”

Oxford City Council spokesman Louisa Dean said: “The late night levy is currently being considered by central government and regulations have been published.

“However, all licensing authorities are awaiting guidance from central government in order to investigate this matter further.

“Once the guidance is published, the licensing and gambling acts committee would need to consider whether it was appropriate for Oxford based on evidence supplied to the authority.”

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said it would be inappropriate to comment until the policy was adopted locally.

The levy is designed so that larger venues, like the 02 Academy in Cowley Road, would pay significantly more than smaller premises such as Hi-Lo in Cowley Road.

A multiplier is applied to premises that that primarily or exclusively sell alcohol for consumption on the premises.

Comments (9)

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11:04am Fri 21 Sep 12

Quentin Walker says...

A good plan which has taken too long to implement.
A good plan which has taken too long to implement. Quentin Walker

12:31pm Fri 21 Sep 12

bagsie says...

Many years ago when I was a young man and drinking venues closed before midnight we still seemed to have ample time to socialise, dance and court. Why then is there now such a demand for drinking venues after midnight?
Many years ago when I was a young man and drinking venues closed before midnight we still seemed to have ample time to socialise, dance and court. Why then is there now such a demand for drinking venues after midnight? bagsie

12:47pm Fri 21 Sep 12

King Joke says...

Bagsie, none of your bloody business. If people want to drink after midnight, and there is a market for it, then why shouldn't they? If this new tax puts more marshalling on the streets to help everyone have a good time responsibly, then so be it.
Bagsie, none of your bloody business. If people want to drink after midnight, and there is a market for it, then why shouldn't they? If this new tax puts more marshalling on the streets to help everyone have a good time responsibly, then so be it. King Joke

1:32pm Fri 21 Sep 12

jamiek says...

If you cant go out and get hammered before 12oclock then youre not trying hard enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you cant go out and get hammered before 12oclock then youre not trying hard enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!! jamiek

1:52pm Fri 21 Sep 12

King Joke says...

It isn't about getting 'hammered' Jamie. If someone wants to get 'hammered' that's their choice, as long as it harms no-one else. What has always been at stake, in this country at any rate, is being allowed the choice to go out and socialise, and have a drink if you want, at a time of one's own choosing rather than one we're 'allowed' by the patronising authorities.

The assertion, quite a false one, that anyone out late in the evening is out to get 'hammered' is a very damaging one, as it allows the authorities to impose quite draconian restrictions on how we choose to socialise.
It isn't about getting 'hammered' Jamie. If someone wants to get 'hammered' that's their choice, as long as it harms no-one else. What has always been at stake, in this country at any rate, is being allowed the choice to go out and socialise, and have a drink if you want, at a time of one's own choosing rather than one we're 'allowed' by the patronising authorities. The assertion, quite a false one, that anyone out late in the evening is out to get 'hammered' is a very damaging one, as it allows the authorities to impose quite draconian restrictions on how we choose to socialise. King Joke

2:34pm Fri 21 Sep 12

Darkforbid says...

Great club's can sack security staff and just use the extra service their charged extra for... savings all round.
Great club's can sack security staff and just use the extra service their charged extra for... savings all round. Darkforbid

3:49pm Fri 21 Sep 12

ger elttil OX2 0EJ says...

bagsie wrote:
Many years ago when I was a young man and drinking venues closed before midnight we still seemed to have ample time to socialise, dance and court. Why then is there now such a demand for drinking venues after midnight?
And when you were a young man most people worked 9-5 mon-fri, in these modern days people finish work at all hours 7 days a week and want to go out for a meal and a drink when they finish, along with tourists who do not go out till 9 or 10pm. To penalise bars for providing that service is wrong. But this has nothing to do with late night drinking, it is just another stealth tax to raise money. I would prefer an Italian style tourist tax where you pay £1 per star rating per night in cash on top of the room rate that goes straight to the council. That would raise far more money than penalising local businesses. So if you are paying £30 per night in the Nanford (god forbid) it would cost you £31/32. Or £250 per night in the Randolph would be £255/260, enough to raise £millions a year for the council, but not enough to put off tourists.
[quote][p][bold]bagsie[/bold] wrote: Many years ago when I was a young man and drinking venues closed before midnight we still seemed to have ample time to socialise, dance and court. Why then is there now such a demand for drinking venues after midnight?[/p][/quote]And when you were a young man most people worked 9-5 mon-fri, in these modern days people finish work at all hours 7 days a week and want to go out for a meal and a drink when they finish, along with tourists who do not go out till 9 or 10pm. To penalise bars for providing that service is wrong. But this has nothing to do with late night drinking, it is just another stealth tax to raise money. I would prefer an Italian style tourist tax where you pay £1 per star rating per night in cash on top of the room rate that goes straight to the council. That would raise far more money than penalising local businesses. So if you are paying £30 per night in the Nanford (god forbid) it would cost you £31/32. Or £250 per night in the Randolph would be £255/260, enough to raise £millions a year for the council, but not enough to put off tourists. ger elttil OX2 0EJ

4:16pm Fri 21 Sep 12

ger elttil OX2 0EJ says...

knowall999 wrote:
Jeez the pubs are all empty except for Saturdays anyway......Oxford has sh1te nightlife compared with other cities,anything to grab a few more pennies from hard working businesses.......fec

kin funny how the poxy council threw their hands in the air and put a block on having a Walkabout bar at the bottom of George street on grounds that local residents would be disturbed..........w

hat happened last wednesday.........th

e Fuzzy Duck club relocated toWahoo bar and there were hundreds of drunk students causing mayhem (i drove past at 2am and witnessed it) police were everywhere.......tha

ts alright tho....they were students were'nt they...........pffff

ff
That is a very good point about Walkabout's refusal, especially as the council have allowed Bar Risa to turn into a monster late night club through the back door.
[quote][p][bold]knowall999[/bold] wrote: Jeez the pubs are all empty except for Saturdays anyway......Oxford has sh1te nightlife compared with other cities,anything to grab a few more pennies from hard working businesses.......fec kin funny how the poxy council threw their hands in the air and put a block on having a Walkabout bar at the bottom of George street on grounds that local residents would be disturbed..........w hat happened last wednesday.........th e Fuzzy Duck club relocated toWahoo bar and there were hundreds of drunk students causing mayhem (i drove past at 2am and witnessed it) police were everywhere.......tha ts alright tho....they were students were'nt they...........pffff ff[/p][/quote]That is a very good point about Walkabout's refusal, especially as the council have allowed Bar Risa to turn into a monster late night club through the back door. ger elttil OX2 0EJ

7:09pm Fri 21 Sep 12

Darkforbid says...

Hmm... Cities are supposed to be growing thriving places,,, then there's Oxford. Maybe one day they'll build toilets like Cambridge,,
Hmm... Cities are supposed to be growing thriving places,,, then there's Oxford. Maybe one day they'll build toilets like Cambridge,, Darkforbid

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