Southwark - Unanimously approve introduction of Late Night Levy
We have previously reported on the progress of a proposed Southwark Late Night Levy Scheme (Levy). On Wednesday evening (17th July), at a full Council Assembly, Southwark councillors unanimously approved the introduction of a Levy in respect of licensed premises in the Borough.
The levy will come into force on 1st September with annual charges ranging from £229 to £1,365 dependent on rateable value and will apply to businesses selling alcohol between midnight and 6am. Reports presented to the meeting by officers anticipated more than £400k would be raised annually by the Levy. A petition opposing the introduction of the Levy prepared by UKHospitality and local business and which represented the culmination of long and hard fought a campaign to oppose the introduction of the Levy did not sway the councillor.
The councillors approved exemptions from the levy for hotels selling drinks to their guests for consumption on the premises, as well as cinemas and theatres.
A review of the levy will be held after the first year. A reduction of 30% of the levy will be available to on-licensed premises who are in receipt of small business rate relief and have a rateable value of £12,000 or less. A proposal for an equivalent reduction for premises tied to a best practice scheme was not adopted by the councillors but will form part of the first year review.