Plymouth bar owners meeting to discuss policing charges
PUB and club bosses are being invited to a meeting tomorrow to discuss new laws which could affect how late they open at night – and whether they have to pay for policing.
Mick McDonnell, chairman of the Best Bar None Plymouth group, has organised the meeting for 2.30pm at the Noah's Ark pub, in Courtenay Street.
The meeting has been called ahead of formal consultation later this year, organised by Plymouth City Council, to discuss whether to introduce a Late Night Levy or Early Morning Restriction Orders (EMROs) to Plymouth.
Both measures can now be implemented by local authorities, following the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act becoming law in autumn 2012.
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Local authorities can, but do not have to, introduce EMROs and/or a Late Night Levy on bars opening between midnight and 6am.
EMROs allow the council to restrict opening times. It could mean, for example, bars only being able to open until 2am.
Meanwhile, the levy could be charged to all bars in the city, and liquor-selling supermarkets too, if they open after midnight.
Bars would pay a levy based on rateable value, with typical Band B businesses stumping up about £750 a year.
Cash raised would be split between the police, receiving 70 per cent to spend as they want, and council, getting 30 per cent to pay for administration.
Plymouth City Council has already entered informal discussions with organisations including Derriford Hospital, South Western Ambulance Service and the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg, who recently carried out a fact-finding trip to Union Street.
It will also be speaking to other local authorities and stakeholders prior to arranging a formal consultation which would include the licensed trade.
Best Bar None is the organisation which strives to uphold high standards in the evening and nighttime economy.
Mr McDonnell, who will chair tomorrow's meeting, said: "I just want all licensees to have an opportunity to discuss the new legislation so they can make an informed choice when consulted. The meeting is open to all publicans."