Plan to make nightclubs foot the bill for policing and public safety in Warwick District

Drinks deals
Drinks deals

Pubs and clubs which open until the early hours could be asked to pay extra towards the cost of policing and public safety.

Warwick District Council has discussed the possibility of bringing forward a consultation into imposing a late night levy on drinking establishments across the Warwick district which stay open after midnight and up to 6am.

The proposal was put forward by Cllr Nick Pitarello (Lib, Leamington Milverton) at a council meeting on Wednesday. He said: “The costs of policing and management of drink-related incidents are significant.

“These include drafting in extra police officers in town centres on Friday and Saturday nights, expenses for street marshals and street pastors, clean-up services, safety awareness campaigns and monitoring of routes heading out of town in the early hours.”

Cllr Pittarello said the levy would be about the cost of a pint per premises per day. Cheltenham is set to launch a levy this year, with its authority expected to collect about £200,000 from licensed premises over 12 months.

The idea is being supported by Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Ball, who said: “I’ve never really understood why we seem to have quite so many problems with alcohol in this country.

“In my former life as a 
pilot, I spent many hundreds of nights in cities all over the world and rarely encountered the sort of problems that are almost commonplace here.

“I would like to see a situation where normal, law abiding people could feel confident that they could visit our town and city 
centres without feeling intimidated or having to witness completely unacceptable behaviour.”

The council agreed to an amendment to the proposal, put forward by Cllr Norman Vincett (Con, Kenilworth St John’s), which asked for officers to review the situation subsequent to the Government’s current consultation on licensing matters, which would delay any consultation until a report was created on the implications of introducing a levy in the district.

Kevin Murphy, the owner of Murphy’s Bar in Leamington, said the levy would place an extra burden on bars and clubs - and that pubs and social clubs outside of town centres could also suffer.

He said: “Some are struggling and nightclubs which trade on very short opening hours need to be able to maximise their profits in this time.”