ALMR Successfully Challenges Tower Hamlets Levy

The ALMR has successfully challenged Tower Hamlets Council’s decision to introduce a late night levy in the area, highlighting flaws in the Council’s consultation procedure.

The ALMR, working with licensing solicitors Poppleston Allen, Sarah Clover of Kings Chambers Birmingham and Charles Streeten of Francis Taylor Buildings, successfully challenged significant flaws and failings in the consultation process.

The judicial review was lodged last month following the Council’s decision to adopt the levy on 20 January with an implementation date of 1 June.

The Council accepted that it did not conduct the mandatory consultation on the implementation date for the levy and that the Council’s documents were worded in such a way as to confuse consultees and were likely to mislead them.

“ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “Tower Hamlets Council’s consultation on its late night levy was flawed and denied businesses in the area a chance to engage knowing all the facts.

“Local authorities are required by law to propose a start date for the levy, which Tower Hamlets did not do. It also showed a fundamental misunderstanding of the legislation when it stated that any levy would only be applicable to those premises selling alcohol after midnight.

“The Council may not have intentionally sought to deceive businesses, but the reality is that the consultation document omitted crucial information that was required by businesses to make an informed decision.

“The ALMR and Poppleston Allen’s work has ensured that a late night levy was not introduced on the back of faulty procedure. The Council will be forced to consult again if it still wishes to introduce the measure in the area.

“The ALMR will be scrutinising any further action by the Council and will forcefully oppose any measures that heap additional costs on hardworking venues and threaten jobs and investment in eating and drinking out businesses.”