ALMR urges caution over Liverpool’s late-night levy plan

liverpool at night

Councillors are being urged to show caution over plans to introduce a late-night levy for bars and clubs in Liverpool as they begin consultation on the proposal.

Liverpool City Council is proposing that a fee of up to £4,400 per year would be imposed on any venue that sells alcohol between midnight and 6am. The money would be used towards the cost of policing and local authority initiatives to deal with “alcohol-related crime, disorder, antisocial behaviour and nuisance”.

With consultation starting today, the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has repeated its call for local authorities to be cautious when considering late-night levies and early-morning restriction orders (EMROs).

Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The Government’s own guidance on levies and EMROs states that they should be used as a measure of last resort when other efforts have proven fruitless and a problem still exists.

“Pubs and bars spend a great deal of time engaging in voluntary and partnership schemes to ensure that their venues are safe and responsible places to drink.”

“Late-night venues in Liverpool are also contributing much financially to the local economy in the form of taxes and business rates and any additional levy is a punitive measure against hardworking businesses.

“We are urging Liverpool City Council to work with local businesses, not against them, and to consider all other options before introducing an additional tax on businesses.”

Merseyside Police – which is backing the move – has estimated it costs around £540,000 to cover the city centre between midnight and 6am.

The consultation is suggesting that the vast majority – round 700 – could pay between £299 and £1,259 per year, with 20 paying the highest rate of £4,440 per year. However, the figures are only indicative and are subject to change following the outcome of the formal consultation process.

A decision on whether to implement the late-night levy will be made in January 2016. If the go-ahead is given, it would be introduced from June 2016.

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