City bars look set to escape late night levy

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Pubs, clubs and bars in Milton Keynes are set to avoid paying a late night levy after the council’s licensing sub-committee recommended that such a fee should not be adopted.

Plans for a late night levy to be introduced in the city – to help pay for the cost of city centre policing – had been controversially supported by Milton Keynes Council officials and a meeting of the licensing sub-committee had been asked to recommend that the full committee go ahead with it.

If the full committee still agrees to implement the levy, then businesses selling alcohol between 1am and 6am will be hit with an extra bill thought to be between £299 and £4,440.

The total raised, estimated at around £135,000 a year, would make a contribution towards the costs of policing the late night economy. But that is if all the premises maintain their current opening hours. There are also a range of exemptions and reductions.

The cost of funding just 12 police officers on Friday and Saturday nights in the city centre is thought to be more than £200,000. However, this does not include all policing costs.

A council spokesman said: “The licensing sub-committee resolved a recommendation to the licensing committee that a late night levy not be adopted for Milton Keynes.

“The licensing committee will consider this recommendation in due course, at its meeting on September 18.”