National Pubwatch (NPW) chairman, Stephen Baker, is encouraging local pubwatch schemes to respond to a consultation document on the measures by the deadline on 10 April.
“We feel that the Late Night Levy may have unintended consequences and could actually damage existing partnership work such as Pubwatch. Pubwatch provides a platform for many other schemes that benefit towns and cities such as Best Bar None, BID's and Purple Flag. Because all these type of initiative are already funded by the pub trade on a voluntary basis, the licensing authorities and police need to understand that what they currently take for granted may not continue if the pub trade face what is in effect another local tax,” he said.
Both measures are suggested in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act to deal with the problems of late night alcohol drinking. They would allow councils to charge those selling alcohol late at night or early in the morning.
In the Home Office has accepted pubwatch initiatives represent best practice in the industry but local licensing authorities will have discretion if they want schemes in their area to receive a discount.