Late drinking set to be cut by new charge

Up to half of late night licences could go under plans to give licensing authorities the power to charge premises which open past midnight.







An annual levy of up to £4,480 could be imposed on large nightclubs that mainly sell alcohol to fund the additional policing costs.



The power, introduced in the Government's Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, is aimed at tackling problem premises but could be introduced across entire local authorities.



Up to half of the pubs and clubs that currently open late are expected to amend their licences to avoid having to pay the levy when it is introduced, an impact assessment released by the Home Office found.



The move is expected to bring in between £9 million and £15 million as around 50%-75% of the 24,111 late-opening premises choose to pay the levy - between 12,000 and 18,100 premises.







Crime Prevention Minister James Brokenshire said it was unclear how many local authorities would want to take up the late night levy.



But he added: "The levy will work by raising a charge locally based on the existing bands for licences and 70% of that would be ringfenced for policing, the remaining funds being available for local authorities to use, for example, for taxi marshals and other practical issues.



"It will be for local authorities to decide whether they wish to use this or not, given that there are other means by which they are able to control the late night problem, for example deciding pubs and clubs should be closed between 12 and 6am."



Home Secretary Theresa May said the greater powers will give "communities at a local level a much greater say on what happens over licensing in their local area".



"Everybody will be allowed the option of commenting on licensing applications, not just those who live close to premises, and health and policing concerns will be considered more widely," she said.



"So the impact of licensing on crime and disorder and public safety will be taken into account."



Mrs May has said 24-hour licences have failed to produce the benefits of a "cafe culture" and tougher action is needed to tackle alcohol-related crime and disorder which costs the taxpayer up to £13 billion each year.



With the introduction of late-night levies, there will be greater penalties for serving under-age drinkers, with fines doubling to £20,000 for persistent offenders.



There was no mention of banning the sale of alcohol below cost price in today's Bill.



But Mrs May said: "It is still the Government's intention to bring in the ban on low-cost sales."









Chris Sorek, chief executive of Drinkaware, said: "Tackling the UK binge drinking problem will require a range of measures and giving tougher penalties for underage alcohol sales is an important part of the solution.



"Not all young people drink alcohol but those that do are drinking more and more often - risking their health, personal safety and education."







The new measures will also give power to communities to end 24-hour drinking in their area.



Licensing authorities will be able to make an early morning alcohol restriction order, effectively banning premises from selling alcohol during set times - such as between midnight and 6am.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Extras
indybest
News
peopleLiam Williams posted photo of himself dressed as Wilfried Bony
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
tvBut who should win The Apprentice?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: National Account Manager / Key Account Sales

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Consultant

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Analyst - Bristol

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An IT Support Analyst is required to join the ...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick