The full council at Chelmsford has approved the introduction of a late night levy in November.
The levy will make Chelmsford City the sixth authority to bring in a scheme. Newcastle City Council was the first to introduce a levy and was subsequently followed by Cheltenham Borough Council. The London Borough of Islington, the City of London Corporation and Nottingham City Council have all approved schemes to be brought in this Autumn.
Chelmsford’s licensing and regulatory committee recommended that:
- The levy should apply between 01.00 and 06.00 hours;
- Exemptions should be provided for: premises with overnight accommodations (this applies to premises that only sell alcohol to residents after 01.00 hours); theatres; cinemas; and premises only licensed during the levy period on New Year’s Eve;
- The scheme could be reviewed at a future date if a business-led best practice scheme was created and it was effective in reducing disorder.
The levy is expected to raise £30,000-£50,000. These funds – to be split 70/30 between the police and the council – will be used to provide additional projects and initiatives to make the city centre safer as well as to expand existing projects.
Chelmsford City Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer Communities, Cllr Ian Grundy, said: “Chelmsford has a thriving evening economy, endorsed by the city’s Purple Flag status, a national recognition of safe and vibrant places at night.
“The money raised by the levy will be used to provide additional projects and initiatives to keep the city centre even safer as well as developing on-going projects. We want Chelmsford to be a place that people continue to choose to visit and to ensure we keep the city safe for them and our residents.”