Local councillors are welcoming plans by Leeds City Council to abandon a controversial ‘additional business tax’ on pubs and clubs.
A report by the councils Resources Scrutiny Board at this week’s Executive Board meeting is recommending that the council does not proceed with plans for a ‘Night Time Levy’. The levy would have applied to any pub or club across Leeds that opened between 12.30am to 6.00am and was expected to raise an additional £635,000 to support measures to minimise the impact of the ‘night time economy’ on the city.
Cllr Ryk Downes (Lib Dem, Otley and Yeadon) said “as a member of Licensing I was always concerned about the impact of the levy on areas outside the city centre and on Otley and Yeadon in particular. The levy would have taken £43,000 from Otley pubs and clubs alone to fund the centre of Leeds night time economy”.
Cllr Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Otley and Yeadon) commented “the levy, once applied, was to be spent, primarily by the Police, in areas according to ‘threat, risk and harm’ which to all intents and purposes meant Leeds city centre. I didn’t see the sense why the pubs, clubs and bars of Otley and Yeadon should subsidise the city centre”.
Cllr Sandy Lay (Lib Dem, Otley and Yeadon) said “the problem with such a scheme was that it is such a blunt instrument and in areas such as Otley &Yeadon, which have highly effective Pub Watch schemes running already, the levy just isn’t needed”.
Finally, Cllr Downes noted that “the scrutiny report specifically mentions Otley as an area that would be unlikely to receive resources because of the lack of ‘threat, risk or harm’, I am therefore pleased that Executive Board has kicked out these ill thought out plans”.