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Colchester councillors shelve late night levy plans but aim to curb pre-loading
4:42pm Thursday 10th July 2014 in News
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.”