Published on 22nd May 2013

empty beer bottles

Cabinet agreed last night (21 May) to make a proposal to adopt a late night levy in Cheltenham.

New amendments to legislation in 2012 permitted Councils to adopt such a levy and to use the money raised from the levy to contribute towards the costs of policing the late night economy. If adopted, a proposed implementation date for the levy is set for the 1 April 2014.

The levy will be payable by premises that are licensed to sell alcohol between midnight and 6am. In Cheltenham there are currently 135 premises licensed premises authorised to sell or supply alcohol at these times. The amounts payable by these premises are set by regulations and are based on the non-domestic rateable value with a potential for an annual gross income of £133,000 (the above figure is subject to a number of premises who may vary their licences to exclude themselves from the scope of the levy and also a number of permitted exemptions or reductions).

Cheltenham Borough Council will be entitled to retain up to 30% of the net income whilst the remaining 70% must be paid to the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner. However, it is proposed that in order to use the levy in the most efficient and cost effective manner, rather than see the levy revenue split between two separate programmes, it is intended that agreement with the Police and Crime Commissioner will be reached to develop a single programme delivered in partnership between the Council and the Police in line with guidance.

Councillor Peter Jeffries, cabinet member for housing, safety and communities, said: “Cheltenham Borough Council has set out a priority to strengthen communities through making those communities feel safe and ensuring they are safe and as such it has agreed to make a proposal to adopt a late night levy in Cheltenham. If adopted, the revenue raised will be used to help manage the night-time economy particularly in relation to reducing or preventing crime and disorder, public nuisance and promoting public safety in the whole borough.”

Jimmy Elias, local night club operator and chair of Night Safe, added: "I fully support the late night levy as an operator and believe that if the police need the money for extra resources, this can only be a good thing to ensure that Cheltenham continues to be a safe place for a great night out.
“I do feel that the payment structure based on rateable value is slightly unfair, as this would see smaller venues paying a lot more then some of the larger venues in town but the fee structure has been set by law so the Council does not have any discretion over this."

A consultation on the proposal to adopt the levy will start on the 3 June 2013. 

For press enquiries contact: Kelly Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 264154 or email [email protected].