Mansfield District Council opts out of late night levee

Mansfield District Council has decided that the introduction of a Late Night Levy in Mansfield is not a viable option at this point.

The ability for Licensing Authorities to charge a ‘Late Night Levy’ is set out in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

It allows them to decide if they wishe to collect additional income from premises which are licensed to sell alcohol between midnight and 6am, as a contribution towards the cost of policing the late night economy.

This money is to be used mainly for the reduction of crime and disorder, the promotion of public safety and the reduction or prevention of public nuisance.

The levy is set at a national level and premises are split into bands based upon their rateable value to determine how much they would pay. The annual charge ranges from £299 to £4,440.

It was considered by the Council’s Licensing Act 2003 Committee, the Corporate Management Team and Select Commission Two, who all expressed concerns about the financial impact the levy would have on licensed premises across the District. The final decision was taken last week by the Portfolio Holder for Public Protection.

Cllr Mick Barton, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection at Mansfield District Council, said: “We have given careful consideration to the Late Night Levy and looked carefully at how a charge of this nature would impact on our District.

“During our review, a number of issues were raised. Firstly, the levy would have to be applied District wide and would therefore impact on many licensed premises which do not benefit from, or require the presence of the police after midnight. Secondly, the money paid by licensed premises would not necessarily be spent by the police either in the Mansfield District or on the late night economy. We also recognised the financial impact that the levy would have in this already difficult financial climate.”

“Mansfield has predominantly well run licensed premises and therefore it would be unjust to burden all of the licensed premises with the levy. It would be more appropriate to take a more targeted approach to deal with either individual, or small groups of licensed premises which are causing a problem in relation to alcohol related crime and disorder.”

Mansfield District Council currently operates a number of schemes alongside partners to tackle alcohol related crime caused by the late night economy.

To ensure licensed premises adhere to the conditions of their license, Mansfield District Council, in conjunction with the Police, Fire Service, Environmental Health and Trading Standards, meet on a monthly basis to discuss and tackle any problem premises. Based on the intelligence gained at these meetings, officers then visit the particular premises in order to give advice and implement an action plan (where needed) with the licensee. Following this, if the conditions have not improved, the Council will then look at either restricting or revoking the licence.

The District Council also forms part of the Mansfield Partnership Against Crime (MPAC) partnership, which has organised a number of nights of action throughout the year. These nights are aimed at specific themes, such as responsible drinking, drugs and violence and the agencies involved undertake drug tests, monitor and tackle alcohol levels, including handing out bottles of water and conduct general enforcement and surveillance of the licensed premises and taxis.