Late night levy

A ground-breaking proposal for the UK’s first late night levy to ensure the city remains safe and vibrant has been agreed by Cabinet.

The agreement was made at the city’s Full Council meeting on the 3 July after they considered a report that published the results of a 12 week consultation on the introduction of a late night levy aimed at licensees allowed to sell alcohol after midnight.

Councillor Linda Hobson, Deputy Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Regulation for Newcastle City Council, said: “The vibrancy and vitality Newcastle’s night time economy has a worldwide reputation and makes an invaluable contribution to the city’s prosperity.”

“However, it also has less welcome consequences – noise, crime, anti-social behaviour and negative health impacts.”

“The levy is to ensure those businesses which benefit should make a limited contribution to these costs, which will help the city remain as one of the safest in the country and attractive to investors and visitors.”

Stephen Savage, Director of Regulatory Services and Public Protection, said: “The Government has provided this levy as a further power to help local authorities recover the consequential costs of alcohol related crime and disorder which we strongly feel taxpayers should not bear the brunt of.”

“City council officers now have the task of working out the finer details of the levy and we are working on a bespoke Best Practice Scheme which, if premises sign-up and meet standards, they will be eligible for a 30% discount off the levy.”

The objective is not to restrict the extent of the late night economy, but to ensure a contribution towards the costs of it. Newcastle’s nightlife continues to be vibrant, with several new premises recently opening in the city centre.

The amount of the levy, set by government, depends on the rateable value of the premises and ranges from £299 to £4,400 per year (or in daily terms from 82 pence to £12.16 per day). Some of the activities on which the levy might be spent are taxi marshalling, CCTV improvements, street pastors, street cleaning, enforcement and personal safety initiatives and increased toilet facilities, the actual spend being agreed by all partners for the benefit of the city. The money will be split as 70/30% with the majority going to Northumbria Police.