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Mon 18th Apr 2016 - BBPA and CAMRA join forces to promote alternatives to Late Night Levy
BBPA and CAMRA join forces to promote alternatives to Late Night Levy: The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) have joined forces to publish a new report on the impact of the Late Night Levy on the pub sector. The report “Supporting a safer night-time economy” has urged councils and police to look instead at a partnership approach as a more effective alternative. There are currently just seven levies in place across England, and none in Wales. In practice, some local authorities have backed away from the scheme due to partnership working being a more effective option, and the high potential cost of administering a levy for minimal financial gain. Under the scheme, many pubs will face an extra cost of more than £750 per year – a significant impact on small community businesses, which may only open later at weekends or on certain days of the year, yet are still liable for the levy. Instead, the two bodies urge a partnership approach, such as through the establishment of local Pubwatch initiatives, Business Improvement Districts, and the Best Bar None scheme – ways of working that have been successfully pursued by a number of authorities that have specifically rejected the levy approach. Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, said: “This new research report shows that introducing a Late Night Levy is really a direct tax on local businesses that damages effective partnership working between the trade and other stakeholders. We are working with local authorities and police to find better ways of promoting a safe and vibrant night-time economy.” Tim Page, CAMRA chief executive, added: “Community pubs that provide essential services to their customers will be those that are hit hardest by a Late Night Levy. With pub closure rates being an ongoing concern for CAMRA members, it is essential that government and councils do everything possible to support pubs that are so vital to communities, rather than placing a financial burden on them.”

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