Our favourite pubs and clubs stung by late night drinking levy
Pay up or lock up, clubs to close at midnight?
As of the start of November, Nottingham’s drinking establishments are being forced to pay up to £4,440 to remain open past midnight.
Whilst popular haunts have the funds to pay such fees, some 117 landlords have been compelled to stop serving early to avoid the charges. This could mean that many of your favourite bars may be serving soft drinks by the time you stop prinking.
The plans have been brought in to pay for the officers necessary to police drunken louts, most of whom are apparently students.
Nottingham City Council say that their share of the dough will go towards the acquisition of two Community Protection Officers, who are essentially glorified vigilantes.
Andy Hoe, the infamous owner of Ocean, isn’t happy.
Hoe is frustrated by the rules of the levy: “The vast majority of the money raised by the levy will be spent on resources utilised inside the BID Zone, on police and PCSO’s. So in effect, I am paying for the policing of other venues in other areas of the city.
He told The Tab: “I get stung for the full levy. I haven’t had my bill yet, but I’m expecting it to be in the top tier, which will be nice.”
The vast majority of the city centre already pay a fee to the Business Improvement District and are therefore exempt from paying this heftier fee.
Ocean falls outside this district by ‘all of 10 metres’ according to Hoe.
“As Ocean is thankfully a relatively trouble free venue, we have little attention from the police as we don’t need it.”
Hoe believes that there should be a fairer way of dishing out the levy. “By looking at the level of resources that venues throughout the city have used on a yearly basis and base the levy on that, for example the more police call outs/ambulances per annum etc the more you have to pay”, he said.
With so many of Nott’s boozers closing early, surely punters will fill up the joints which remain open instead of rethinking their life choices and heading home for a sobering coffee.
Second year student Kate had this to say: “If I go out in the week I’ll pre-drink at home and go straight to the club, so it doesn’t really bother me. I’d be pissed off if some places had to close on the weekend though, I need my Saturday cocktails”.
This may localise anti-social behaviour and contribute to the already bone-crushing situation at Market Bar.
Besides, imagine the riots if Bluebell replaced their jager pints with cordial come midnight. Or heaven forbid, raise the price to an extortionate £6…
An annual charge of up to £4,440 will hit smaller pubs the most, but even certain Wetherspoons have conceded to early closure too.
Will Andy Hoe be forced to raise the Ocean entry price further still?