CAMRA condemns Tower Hamlets’ late-night levy

11/10/2017 - 07:00
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is the latest pub and bar industry body to speak out on the recent implementation of a late-night levy in the London borough of Tower Hamlets.

Following similar reaction from the BBPA and ALMR, CAMRA has called the levy which sees pubs hit with a council fine for selling alcohol between midnight and 6 am, “punitive”.

John Cryne, chair of London Region CAMRA, said: "We are seeing a worrying trend across London of more and more councils considering late night levies, without thinking of the effect this will have on valued community pubs.

“We are proud of the variety of pubs that we have across London, but introducing a levy is just penalising local businesses when the majority contribute positively to the night time economy. What is the point in having an all night tube if there is nowhere to go?.

"Late night levies are a blunt instrument, and unfairly penalise pubs - most of which are hubs of responsible drinking. Coupled with the introduction of crippling business rates, pubs in Tower Hamlets face rapidly rising costs - which will either result in more pub closure or higher prices for consumers."

The levy, which can be up to £85.38 each week depending on the size and rateable value of the premises, was agreed by Tower Hamlets Council on 20 September and will come into effect from 1 January 2018.

Tower Hamlets, which covers much of London’s traditional East End, is the fifth borough in the capital to introduce the levy after City of London, Islington, Camden and Hackney.

The Campaign for Real Ale is a consumer campaign set up in 1971 with around 190,000 members.

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