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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Arts and Entertainment
Ugne, 32, is a Lithuanian bodybuilder
tvThey include a Lithuanian bodybuilder who believes 'cake is a sin' and the Dalai Lama's personal photographer
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon have just launched their new streaming service in the UK
music
News
Donald Trump
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Retail Team Leader - Clothing / Footwear

£18000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Does this sound like you? - Fri...

Recruitment Genius: Head Chef

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an indepe...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Services Team Leader

£18000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Area Manager - North West - Registered Charity

£31800 - £35400 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This registered charity's missi...

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food