UKHospitality warns NE London levy will strangle nightlife

UKHospitality has submitted evidence to Redbridge Council’s consultation on the possible introduction of a late-night levy, warning against a measure that threatens the North East London area’s hospitality businesses.

UKHospitality Chief Executive, Kate Nicholls said, “It is fairly dispiriting to still be having a conversation on the levy in 2019. A comprehensively damning Parliamentary report in 2017 highlighted its flaws, outlined its ineffectiveness and called for its removal.

'The Council’s proposal outright ignores the considered alternatives recently set out in the Mayor of London’s Night Time Commission report, as well as being contradictory to Redbridge Council’s own regeneration policy pledge to nurture partnerships. It is almost beyond belief that some councils continue to push ahead with this discredited tax.'

Nicholls continued, “An additional tax on late night venues, that contribute hugely both economically and socially, would only harm Redbridge’s nightlife. Only this year we have seen that money raised in nearby Hackney has not been spent in the borough. Redbridge’s businesses will be paying an extra tax and the area, and the Council, will almost certainly feel no benefit.

'The Metropolitan police are not obliged to spend any money raised in Redbridge on its activities in Redbridge. There is precious little positive to be found in heaping costs on bars, nightclubs and pubs.'

Nicholls concluded, “If Redbridge Council pushes ahead with this retrograde and thoroughly discredited tax, it is only going to strangle nightlife in the borough.”