UKHospitality, has stated its opposition to Southwark Council’s proposals to introduce a late night levy in the London borough.
Speaking after UKHospitality had submitted a response to Southwark’s consultation on the introduction of a levy, UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “It is incredibly disappointing to see another local authority entertain the idea of a late-night levy. The levy has been thoroughly dismissed as a credible option by the House of Lords Committee.
“It has been denounced by the House of Lords report and labelled unfit for purpose. It runs completely counter to both the Mayor of London’s vision of a 24-hour city and Southwark Borough Council’s attempts to promote investment. It’s doubly disappointing that a borough that has seen its regeneration boosted by hospitality businesses is looking to heap costs on venues that have made Southwark popular.
“It is a complete misstep from the Council and we urge them to abandon the idea of a levy. Otherwise, businesses will only struggle and the thriving night life that been built up over many years will be under serious threat.”
Keith Knowles OBE, CEO of Beds and Bars, which operates four venues in the borough, said: “A late-night levy will disastrous for hospitality venues. We have invested £11 million in the last four years in London – £8 million of which has been in Southwark. In that time we have seen a 47% increase in the Government take of our profits, through a myriad of operating costs and taxes. Southwark’s night time economy is the best in London and its venues are fantastic local assets. Another additional cost via a Late Night Levy would put it all at risk. It’s a death by a thousand cuts, and would suggest a lack of understanding of the value of hospitality venues.”