Colchester councillors shelve late night levy plans but aim to curb pre-loading

Gazette: Colchester councillors shelve late night levy plans but aim to curb pre-loading Colchester councillors shelve late night levy plans but aim to curb pre-loading

COUNCILLORS shelved proposals which could have generated more than £14,000 in income, it has emerged.

Proposals were put to a special task and finish group to introduce a late night levy, which would have seen nightspots paying up to an extra £4,000 a year, depending on their size.

The money would have been used to pay for extra police officers in the town centre on weekends.

The scheme divided bar owners’ opinions, with some strongly agreeing and others threatening to leave the town if it went ahead.

In a report to Colchester Council from the group, it said if the levy was introduced from 1am, the council would receive £14,180.

If it was introduced from 2am, it would generate £7,250.

But a recommendation will be put to the council on Wednesday, to delay a consultation on the levy in order to assess a more robust approach towards the town centre by Essex Police and Colchester Council.

It means since the group was set up at the beginning of the year, no decisions have been made.

The group will continue to consider how to curb pre-loading - whereby revellers drink a lot of alcohol at home before coming to the town centre.

Bill Frame, who chairs the group, admitted it would be a difficult challenge.

He added: “I can’t see how little old Colchester is going to solve it at the moment.

“Clearly, one of the things we’re hoping for is that bar owners will be a little more stringent in letting in people who are already in a bad way.”

Comments (6)

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9:48pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Boris says...

This is very disappointing. Other towns and cities have late-night levies, and probably they charge more than Colchester was thinking of charging.
The Wetherspoons chain have announced that wherever there is a late-night levy, they will close down to avoid the levy, which would make their business unprofitable.
Let Wetherspoons be the model for our own late-night bars. If they don't like the levy , close earlier. If thery can still make a profit, pay the levy, and provide a stream of revenue for CBC.
This is very disappointing. Other towns and cities have late-night levies, and probably they charge more than Colchester was thinking of charging. The Wetherspoons chain have announced that wherever there is a late-night levy, they will close down to avoid the levy, which would make their business unprofitable. Let Wetherspoons be the model for our own late-night bars. If they don't like the levy , close earlier. If thery can still make a profit, pay the levy, and provide a stream of revenue for CBC. Boris
  • Score: 2

4:42am Fri 11 Jul 14

Shrubendlad says...

Agree with Boris.
Lib Dem Bill Frame should resign immediately-and give up his post on the Community Stadium Board. He gets paid £6475+£3885SRA and clearly doesn't know what hes doing.
"Little old Colchester" has a population circa 180,000 expanding to 200,000. It has a major army base and large student population from Essex University and other Colleges. Over the last 20 years it seems to have become a centre for every drunk in the country with suggestions from Labour that open spaces should be designated for drunks.
If Clubs and Drinking outlets want to stay open until 3.30 -4 in the morning then they can pay for all policing costs. Enough is Enough.
Agree with Boris. Lib Dem Bill Frame should resign immediately-and give up his post on the Community Stadium Board. He gets paid £6475+£3885SRA and clearly doesn't know what hes doing. "Little old Colchester" has a population circa 180,000 expanding to 200,000. It has a major army base and large student population from Essex University and other Colleges. Over the last 20 years it seems to have become a centre for every drunk in the country with suggestions from Labour that open spaces should be designated for drunks. If Clubs and Drinking outlets want to stay open until 3.30 -4 in the morning then they can pay for all policing costs. Enough is Enough. Shrubendlad
  • Score: 0

9:56am Fri 11 Jul 14

sam vines says...

What I want to know how much council tax is being wasted on running this so called group that's managed to come up with no solution.
Simple way to work out the rate is how much it costs to have a continuous police presence on every street with a late night drinking establishment from when it opens till two hours after it closes. The cost to the NHS having to deal with drunken idiots and their mates who feel its ok to abuse the A&E/ambulance staff when they are trying to help them with their self inflicted injury. The cost of the council workers who have to clean up the filth left behind. I bet it is more than the levy they dreamed up.
What I want to know how much council tax is being wasted on running this so called group that's managed to come up with no solution. Simple way to work out the rate is how much it costs to have a continuous police presence on every street with a late night drinking establishment from when it opens till two hours after it closes. The cost to the NHS having to deal with drunken idiots and their mates who feel its ok to abuse the A&E/ambulance staff when they are trying to help them with their self inflicted injury. The cost of the council workers who have to clean up the filth left behind. I bet it is more than the levy they dreamed up. sam vines
  • Score: 6

1:35pm Fri 11 Jul 14

julieee says...

Seriously? what are they going to do? visit people's home addresses and tell them to put the bottle down if they want to go out in town?
Basically there's going to be no levy and nothing else either.
Seriously? what are they going to do? visit people's home addresses and tell them to put the bottle down if they want to go out in town? Basically there's going to be no levy and nothing else either. julieee
  • Score: 3

2:30pm Fri 11 Jul 14

No! I am Spartacus says...

The only way to stop 'pre-loading' is to reduce prices. When I was going out 20-odd years ago, and the prices were being hiked, we started drinking beforehand to reduce expense. This isn't a defence of the process, just an explanation.

If there is such a problem with drunks, perhaps the law of the land should be applied and excessive drunks just not be served? In the meantime, perhaps licences should just be suspended if serving illegally continued?
The only way to stop 'pre-loading' is to reduce prices. When I was going out 20-odd years ago, and the prices were being hiked, we started drinking beforehand to reduce expense. This isn't a defence of the process, just an explanation. If there is such a problem with drunks, perhaps the law of the land should be applied and excessive drunks just not be served? In the meantime, perhaps licences should just be suspended if serving illegally continued? No! I am Spartacus
  • Score: 1

3:44pm Fri 11 Jul 14

karen f says...

Is anybody actually surprised at this decision? No, me neither! As per usual we're told the idea, all the hype is reported that goes with it and absolutely nothing to show for it. Meetings behind closed doors that then get slammed in our faces. I, for one, thought that we were finally headed in the right direction with curtailing the night-time economy problems with the overhaul of Silk Road's license and the strict measures put upon them, along with all the reports in the Gazette stating how Councillors were just as fed up as the rest of us who just want to enjoy a night out in town without fear of trouble. Colchester Borough Councillor's need to get a backbone instead of picking up the dummies that get spat out whenever the levy is mentioned. You will never be able to stop pre-loading, it's a waste of ink even printing it let's face it! Yet again, it's Pub & Club Owners 1 - Colcestrians 0.
Is anybody actually surprised at this decision? No, me neither! As per usual we're told the idea, all the hype is reported that goes with it and absolutely nothing to show for it. Meetings behind closed doors that then get slammed in our faces. I, for one, thought that we were finally headed in the right direction with curtailing the night-time economy problems with the overhaul of Silk Road's license and the strict measures put upon them, along with all the reports in the Gazette stating how Councillors were just as fed up as the rest of us who just want to enjoy a night out in town without fear of trouble. Colchester Borough Councillor's need to get a backbone instead of picking up the dummies that get spat out whenever the levy is mentioned. You will never be able to stop pre-loading, it's a waste of ink even printing it let's face it! Yet again, it's Pub & Club Owners 1 - Colcestrians 0. karen f
  • Score: 2

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