Redbridge Council's licensing authority expected to give late-night levy green light
Redbridge Council's licensing authority is expected to give its approval to a late-night levy on businesses with licenses to sell alcohol between midnight and 6am, at a meeting next week.
Money raised by the tax would be spent on policing the night-time economy, with the east London borough estimating £80,000 would be collected each year.
It is believed 120 businesses would be affected, each receiving bills for up to £4,440 per venue.
A consultation into the introduction of the tax received 66 responses, 74% of which were in favour.
Among those objecting was UKHospitality, which is "strongly against" the introduction and added "late=night levys are highly ineffectual and have a significant cost for businesses."
The British Beer and Pub Association also "strongly urged the licensing authority to rethink its position".
The Mayor of London's night czar, Amy Lamé, said she had "grave reservations about the impact a levy would have on existing responsible businesses as well as possibly deterring new business to opening in the borough."
JD Wetherspoon, which has four pubs in the borough, said it would pay a combined levy of £14,340 a year under the levy. In its response to the consultation the pub giant said it would pose "a significant further cost burden on the hospitality industry".
It added that while larger businesses may be able to absorb the cost pressures, smaller ones may struggle leading to a loss of "individuality" in the area.
Despite these objections officers have recommended the licensing committee recommends the introduction of the levy when it meets on 9 January, after which it will be put before the full council.