Local authorities must work with businesses, says ALMR

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Responding to Southampton City Council’s decision to introduce a late-night levy, the ALMR has expressed its disappointment at the decision and urged Southampton City Council to work with local businesses to capitalise on existing best practice schemes.

The decision was made yesterday at a meeting of the full council and will be implemented on 01 April 2015 and will apply to premises that serve alcohol between midnight and 6am.

ALMR Chief Executive, Kate Nicholls said: “There is a danger that this levy may undermine support and funding for best-practice schemes, such as Best Bar None, already in place in Southampton, which the Council recognises already make the city a safe and enjoyable late-night destination.”

“The ALMR has been vocal in its recommendation that local authorities should always pursue voluntary measures and partnership schemes before resorting to punitive measures. We believe that a late-night levy should only be introduced as a last resort when all other options have been exhausted and where there is clear evidence of specific problems.”

“We urge the council to work with businesses to ensure that the progress being made by retailers in Southampton is not diluted and to ensure that all revenues raised by the levy are put to use protecting and developing Southampton’s late-night economy.”

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