Southamption's controversial 'nightclub tax' consultation begins

Comments invited as city night spot 'tax' agreed

Comments invited as city night spot 'tax' agreed

First published in Hampshire Business
Last updated
Hampshire Chronicle: Photograph of the Author by , Political reporter

THE public can now have their say on plans to charge bars up to £4,440 a year to cover the cost of late-night revellers in Southampton.

Residents now have until July 31 to register their views on the controversial new levy, which could be introduced next year.

The plans to cover the cost of policing Southampton’s night-time economy were first revealed in the Daily Echo last year.

They have been bitterly opposed by bars and clubs in the city centre, who have described it as “yet another tax” on businesses.

Labour city council bosses and Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes have put together the plans.

Bars and clubs in the city centre that operate after midnight would pay an annual fee of between £299 and £4,440, depending on their rateable value.

They believe it would raise £240,000 every year, with funds being divided by 70 per cent for the police and 30 per cent to the council.

The funds would be spent on street cleaning, improving CCTV, taxi marshalling and running an In Case of Emergency (ICE) bus to help people who are injured or in need of help.

After consultation is finished, city council chiefs will make a final decision on it in September.

It could then be implemented in February next year.

Council leader Simon Letts said: “We expect there is widespread community support for it but there will be some opposition from the licensing trade and we are keen to hear their views too.

“We don’t think the levy is onerous and may in fact help custom.”

But members of the trade in the city centre have renewed their calls on the council to stop the levy.

Chris Reich, chairman of the Southampton Licensees’ Link and area manager for JD Wetherspoon, said: “It is yet another tax on businesses in this city. I think it will impact on some people trading and will mean some people have to close earlier, meaning there will be less choice for people coming into our city.”

Residents can take part in consultation by downloading a questionnaire from southampton.gov.uk or picking one up at the Civic Centre.

Completed questionnaires should then be sent by post to Southampton City Council, PO Box 1767, Southampton, SO18 9LA, or by email to licensing.policy@southampton.gov.uk.

Comments (12)

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11:37am Mon 28 Apr 14

Maine Lobster says...

An excellent idea. Drunken idiots causing damage,leaving litter and injuring themselves because they are smashed after late night drinking make the city's streets a mess and cause nuisance galore. The late night booze joints that enable them to get into that condition ought to accept their part in creating the problem and in clearing up the mess.
An excellent idea. Drunken idiots causing damage,leaving litter and injuring themselves because they are smashed after late night drinking make the city's streets a mess and cause nuisance galore. The late night booze joints that enable them to get into that condition ought to accept their part in creating the problem and in clearing up the mess. Maine Lobster
  • Score: 15

11:39am Mon 28 Apr 14

Mj-trucker says...

Agree with the above post. Maybe not charge pubs tho as they are struggling enough at the moment. Nightclubs surely make enough to cover it tho
Agree with the above post. Maybe not charge pubs tho as they are struggling enough at the moment. Nightclubs surely make enough to cover it tho Mj-trucker
  • Score: 7

11:39am Mon 28 Apr 14

bigfella777 says...

I cant find the questionnaire on the council website anywhere
I cant find the questionnaire on the council website anywhere bigfella777
  • Score: 0

12:30pm Mon 28 Apr 14

alexbouca says...

http://www.southampt
on.gov.uk/business/l
icensing/alcohol-lic
ences/lnl.aspx
http://www.southampt on.gov.uk/business/l icensing/alcohol-lic ences/lnl.aspx alexbouca
  • Score: 0

12:38pm Mon 28 Apr 14

WalkingOnAWire says...

I hope that everyone who comments on here also takes the trouble to fill in the questionnaire.
I hope that everyone who comments on here also takes the trouble to fill in the questionnaire. WalkingOnAWire
  • Score: 5

2:11pm Mon 28 Apr 14

joblow says...

I hope they start with Bevois valley
It's filthy along the dungeon,!!
I hope they start with Bevois valley It's filthy along the dungeon,!! joblow
  • Score: 0

2:38pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Missdoyle says...

bigfella777 wrote:
I cant find the questionnaire on the council website anywhere
Neither can I. I doubt the council actually want.people's opinions.as they feel they will know beet regardless... :)
[quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: I cant find the questionnaire on the council website anywhere[/p][/quote]Neither can I. I doubt the council actually want.people's opinions.as they feel they will know beet regardless... :) Missdoyle
  • Score: -2

4:12pm Mon 28 Apr 14

03alpe01 says...

If it will make the Council money then it will be implemented. If it doesn't, then it won't. It's as simple as that.
If it will make the Council money then it will be implemented. If it doesn't, then it won't. It's as simple as that. 03alpe01
  • Score: -4

4:29pm Mon 28 Apr 14

camerajuan says...

The clubs really don't help themselves. Handing out literally thousands of fliers - even to people that don't want them.

If you use them, the club will bin them. If not, they're on the floor - as shown in the picture above. That's the only real mess caused by the clubs - the rubbish after that will be coming directly from the kebab shops & late night Subways. Clubs don't hand out polystyrene containers filled with food along with plastic cutlery and napkins. They also make sure patrons don't leave the club with glasses, bottles or anything else that they issue.

Surely cutting down on fliers would infinitely improve the state of the streets and then the real mess will become apparent - takeaways. Who should also pay a levy in my opinion.
The clubs really don't help themselves. Handing out literally thousands of fliers - even to people that don't want them. If you use them, the club will bin them. If not, they're on the floor - as shown in the picture above. That's the only real mess caused by the clubs - the rubbish after that will be coming directly from the kebab shops & late night Subways. Clubs don't hand out polystyrene containers filled with food along with plastic cutlery and napkins. They also make sure patrons don't leave the club with glasses, bottles or anything else that they issue. Surely cutting down on fliers would infinitely improve the state of the streets and then the real mess will become apparent - takeaways. Who should also pay a levy in my opinion. camerajuan
  • Score: 6

10:21pm Mon 28 Apr 14

IronLady2010 says...

I obviously mis-understood the licensing rules.

I always thought it was illegal to have someone intoxicated on licensed premises, so how do these people get so drunk in the first place? Surely someone served them or are the bars/clubs just turning a blind eye and ignoring licence rules?
I obviously mis-understood the licensing rules. I always thought it was illegal to have someone intoxicated on licensed premises, so how do these people get so drunk in the first place? Surely someone served them or are the bars/clubs just turning a blind eye and ignoring licence rules? IronLady2010
  • Score: -1

2:12am Tue 29 Apr 14

WalkingOnAWire says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
I obviously mis-understood the licensing rules.

I always thought it was illegal to have someone intoxicated on licensed premises, so how do these people get so drunk in the first place? Surely someone served them or are the bars/clubs just turning a blind eye and ignoring licence rules?
I don't think that's quite what this is driving at. The point is that the late licensing that we now have drives an extra policing cost - 70% of this proposed levy is to help fund that. Similarly, for example, Saints incur a policing cost for home games - which isn't to say that fans aren't orderly and sober, because almost without exception they are.

The businesses which would contribute to the levy must be making significant incremental profits by staying open until 1am or later, or they simply wouldn't do it.

The proposed levy starts at less than £1 per day, and is capped at £12 per day for the largest venues. So at most, that's about the price of a round of drinks for 3 or 4 people - which is chickenfeed to a business like Wetherspoons. They might protest about it in principle, but it's not going to hurt their business in the slightest.
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: I obviously mis-understood the licensing rules. I always thought it was illegal to have someone intoxicated on licensed premises, so how do these people get so drunk in the first place? Surely someone served them or are the bars/clubs just turning a blind eye and ignoring licence rules?[/p][/quote]I don't think that's quite what this is driving at. The point is that the late licensing that we now have drives an extra policing cost - 70% of this proposed levy is to help fund that. Similarly, for example, Saints incur a policing cost for home games - which isn't to say that fans aren't orderly and sober, because almost without exception they are. The businesses which would contribute to the levy must be making significant incremental profits by staying open until 1am or later, or they simply wouldn't do it. The proposed levy starts at less than £1 per day, and is capped at £12 per day for the largest venues. So at most, that's about the price of a round of drinks for 3 or 4 people - which is chickenfeed to a business like Wetherspoons. They might protest about it in principle, but it's not going to hurt their business in the slightest. WalkingOnAWire
  • Score: 1

2:17am Tue 29 Apr 14

WalkingOnAWire says...

Missdoyle wrote:
bigfella777 wrote:
I cant find the questionnaire on the council website anywhere
Neither can I. I doubt the council actually want.people's opinions.as they feel they will know beet regardless... :)
It's easy enough to find, under 'current consultations'. Someone had already posted a link to it before you made the comment, but here it is again:

http://www.southampt
on.gov.uk/business/l
icensing/alcohol-lic
ences/lnl.aspx
[quote][p][bold]Missdoyle[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: I cant find the questionnaire on the council website anywhere[/p][/quote]Neither can I. I doubt the council actually want.people's opinions.as they feel they will know beet regardless... :)[/p][/quote]It's easy enough to find, under 'current consultations'. Someone had already posted a link to it before you made the comment, but here it is again: http://www.southampt on.gov.uk/business/l icensing/alcohol-lic ences/lnl.aspx WalkingOnAWire
  • Score: 1

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