Camden pubs and clubs face late night charge for policing and cleaning

Pubs and clubs in London could face having to contribute to the costs of policing and cleaning the s

Pubs and clubs in London could face having to contribute to the costs of policing and cleaning the streets - Credit: Archant

Venues which stay open past midnight in Camden may find themselves charged a levy to cover the costs of policing and cleaning the night-time economy.

Camden Council’s licensing committee last night voted in favour of the charge for the borough’s late night watering holes, which will now go to consultation to determine exactly how it should work in practice.

The council will now consider whether to grant a reduction of 30 per cent of the government’s fixed levy rates to smaller businesses with a rateable value of less than £12,000 a year.

Camden has over 1600 licensed premises, of which 289 are allowed to serve alcohol after midnight.

The council says the night-time economy is very costly in terms of both policing and cleaning, and that the levy will help to cover these expenses.

The money raised will be spilt between the council and the police, with the Met to be given at least 70 per cent.

The only exemption to the charge will be for those businesses which have a late licence only on New Year’s Eve, or for events holding a temporary events licence.

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The committee decided against exemptions for theatres, cinemas or premises with overnight accommodation.

The council will seek to introduce the levy from the end of April 2016, and will now put together a formal proposal for consultation, set to begin on Monday.

The levy charged is based on the rateable value of premises, with the maximum amount payable for the most profitable venues set at £4440 per year.

The council estimates it could raise £350,000 per year through the levy.

Camden has the ninth highest level of alcohol related crime in London, significantly higher than the London and England average.

Their initial public consultation revealed that 62 per cent of respondents were in favour of the levy.

See next Thursday’s Ham&High for further reaction and analysis.