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Pub closure fears over plan for levy
6:00am Monday 30th December 2013 in News
A LATE-NIGHT levy in Colchester could drive independent pubs out of town, a long-standing publican has warned.
Colchester Council is looking into charging pubs and clubs between £299 and £4,000 extra a year. The levy could be used to fund extra police officers, the SOS Bus and clean-up costs.
Alan Dennis, who runs the Castle pub in High Street, Colchester, said small pubs could be forced to move outside the borough because they cannot afford to fork out the extra cash.
He said: “Smaller pubs will be thinking about packing it in. We’ll be going and there will just be chain pubs left.
“It would be easy to say ‘the places we will charge are the places which are open after 2am’, because that takes every pub in the town out of the equation – the pubs aren’t where the trouble comes from.”
Will Quince, leader of the Conservative group on Colchester Council, who has suggested the levy, said: “We are talking about a relatively small sum of money. Pubs have got to accept they
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