A ‘late night levy’ paid by clubs and bars in Liverpool that stay open after midnight is now under review by Liverpool City Council and a four-week consulation has been launched. Tony McDonough reports
A late night levy that can cost Liverpool bars and clubs up to £4,400 a year is to be reviewed by Liverpool City Council.
Introduced in 2017, the levy is paid by bars and clubs in the city that sell alcohol between midnight and 6am. Depending on the rateable value of the premises the levy, which is set by Government, can cost between £299 and £4,400 each year.
Venues within the city centre BID areas, which already pay an extra levy, and those that only open late on New Year’s Day, are expempt from paying the light night levy. 70% of the money raised goes to the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner.
This latest consultation follows a decision by the Council’s Licensing and Gambling Committee in November 2021. It wants to seek views on whether or not the late-night levy should continue, or if amendments should be made.
The results of the consultation, which is non-statutory, will help to inform any formal proposal to cease or vary the levy from April 2023. Any decision will then be subject to a further statutory consultation process prior to a final decision being made.
Starting on Monday, October 3, the consultation runs for four weeks until October 28. It is being managed independently by Night Time Economy Solutions on behalf of Liverpool City Council.
It will seek opinions from stakeholders, the trade, residents associations, charities, responsible authorities, local councillors and MPs.
Chair of the city’s Licensing and Gambling Committee, Cllr Christine Banks, said: “It is now five years since the late night levy was introduced and we believe it is appropriate to take another look at it to see if any changes should be made.
“We are really interested in hearing what everyone with an interest in this issue has to say, and would encourage them to take part in the consultation to help inform the discussion.”