London mayor Sadiq Khan has named lawyer Philip Kolvin QC as Chair of the Night Time Commission, as part of his ongoing pledge to protect London’s 'vital cultural spaces'.
Kolvin – known for his recent role acting on behalf of Fabric nightclub – will preside over the body tasked with protecting London’s nightlife. The Commission aims to bring together stakeholders from across the night-time economy including local authorities, the Metropolitan Police, club and venue owners, and residents.
Kolvin is credited as playing a pivotal role in securing an agreement between the famous London nightclub and Islington Council to regain its licence and reopen with stringent new conditions to protect the safety of clubbers.
According to the Mayor's office, since 2008 the capital has lost 50% of its nightclubs and 40% of its live music venues.
Khan, said: 'With the loss of so many clubs and venues from around the capital, we cannot afford to be complacent.
'Working alongside my newly-appointed Night Czar Amy Lamé, Philip’s expert knowledge in the field of licensing, regulation and policy will be crucial in ensuring that our live music venues and nightclubs are protected from closure and that they are recognised as a distinctive part of our cultural heritage.”
The licensing expert will begin his new role on 9 January, working alongside Lamé 'to develop and implement a vision of London as a 24-hour city'.
Kolvin said: 'London's night life is internationally renowned and forms a key reason for people wanting to live, work and invest here. As the capital grows, we must plan for a growing night-time economy for the whole of Greater London – something that can only be achieved through proper partnerships with stakeholders, strategic planning, and investment in infrastructure.
'It's vital that we ensure that everyone benefits from a thriving night-time economy – from those who want a great night out, to those who want a good night's sleep.'
Trade bodies have welcomed the appointment. Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) chief executive Kate Nicholls commented: 'The Mayor has made some very positive moves since taking office and we are pleased to see him taking the issue of London’s night-time economy seriously. It is vitally important that we have an effective Night Time Commission to complement the work of the Night Czar and we would like to congratulate Philip on his appointment. Philip has the nous and the credibility to lead the Commission and his experience will be crucial to the success of the Mayor's plans for London.'