CAMRA and BBPA to lobby councils about late night levy alternatives

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Drinks: Drinks
Location: England
Other: Business

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) have joined forces to lobby councils to consider alternatives to the controversial late night levy.

The duo’s new report, ‘Supporting a safer night time economy’, urges councils and police to instead partner with businesses to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour.

There are currently seven levies in place across England, with affected businesses being charged over £750 each annually.

Late night levies were introduced by the Home Office to divert the cost of ‘problems’ caused by the late night economy away from taxpayers, and directly to businesses that sell alcohol between midnight and 6am.

Brigid Simmonds BBPA chief executive, said: ‘This new research shows that introducing a late night levy is really a direct tax on local businesses that damages effective partnership working between the trade and other stakeholders.

‘We are working with local authorities and police to find better ways of promoting a safe and vibrant night-time economy.’

The duo is pushing for partnerships between businesses, local Pubwatch schemes, Business Improvement Districts, and the Best Bar None scheme, as an alternative. These measures have been successfully pursued by a number of authorities that have specifically rejected the levy approach, it says.

CAMRA chief executive Tim Page, said: ‘Community pubs that provide essential services to their customers will be those that are hit hardest by a late night levy. With pub closure rates being an ongoing concern for CAMRA members, it is essential that government and councils do everything possible to support pubs that are so vital to communities, rather than placing a financial burden on them.’

About Author

Claire Dodd

As a freelance journalist, Claire has written about pretty much any topic you can imagine, from which are the best sausages, to how to flood-proof your home. However, her writing on drinks began when she landed a job as a features writer for the Publican magazine in 2007. Adjusting to a lifestyle of sampling the best drinks from around the world was tough, but someone had to do it. Having left the title in 2011, today Claire focuses on drinks and travel writing for both consumer and trade titles. Aside from searching the globe for the best drinks, and the nicest spots to consume them, she also judges global brewing competitions and keeps an eye on the business moves of the on-trade.

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