To coincide with its submission to the consultation on the levy, the ALMR has presented the Council with a petition signed by leading late-night venues in the area, supporting the ALMR’s opposition to a levy.
ALMR staff visited Tower Hamlets to canvass opposition to the proposed levy, with 38 of 40 venues canvassed expressing outright opposition to the planned introduction of the tax.
The ALMR also distributed template letters for those venues to contact Tower Hamlets Borough Council to register their opposition to the late-night levy.
ALMR Director of Communications Tony Sophoclides said: “In just one afternoon visiting venues in Tower Hamlets we gathered a good number of signatures and spoke to numerous licensees, staff members and some customers, and there was almost unanimous concern about the effects of the proposed levy.
“We saw a good deal of opposition to the Council’s proposal, because it will raise costs for businesses, undermine investment and ultimately threaten jobs and venues themselves.
“Tower Hamlets Council must listen to the opposition being voiced by its own businesses. Our submission warns that additional burdens will have a negative effect without addressing any perceived areas of complaint and this petition shows that the businesses at risk are concerned about the consequences of the Council’s actions.”
Ally Shaw, Manager of the Victoria Pub in Mile End signed the ALMR petition and voiced his concerns about the late-night levy:
“Tower Hamlets has a vibrant and important late-night economy and venues in the area contribute a lot economically and socially. Pubs and bars already pay a significant amount in taxes and rates and an additional tax is going to be difficult to take for many employers.
“It is important that venues in the area understand the danger the levy poses and come together to present a united front in opposition.”