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Nightclub levy to be considered at council meeting

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: December 17, 2012

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NIGHTCLUBS in Cheltenham will discover today whether there are any plans to introduce a nighttime tax in the town.

Tories on Cheltenham Borough Council are pushing for the levy to be brought in.

And they will ask a meeting of the full council today what steps are being taken to bring it in.

The levy would target night clubs which stay open into the early hours.

Conservatives members also want a guarantee that any money received by the council as a result of such a tax would be used to combat the "worst effects of the night time economy".

The opposition group were also due to raise concerns about irregular recycling collections in the town.

Councillor Barbara Driver (Lansdown, C) wants to have clarification on the impact narrow streets in the town have on large recycling lorries which find it difficult to navigate and if any smaller lorries are available to the authority.

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  • Ms_Superstar  |  December 18 2012, 12:14AM

    BaldSeagull, I'd be happy to give you my email address, but I don't give it out willy-nilly, and certainly not via this forum. Thinking of the topography of Cheltenham, it must be either Subtone or 13 degrees, or possibly Kukui. Fever and MooMoo don't have back doors onto the street. Voodoo is on the first floor. Lace is closed. Prom Vaults don't seem to get that many drunks. Boogie Lounge similarly. I don't know. It's late. If it is as you say, then I reiterate that I would have no problem taxing them, but let's not forget the small independent operators that are struggling to survive and NEVER have any trouble. Should they be punished as well?

  • BaldSeagull  |  December 17 2012, 11:49PM

    "Ms_Superstar" I'd be happy to let you know which club it is, but not via this forum. How might I contact you?

  • Ms_Superstar  |  December 17 2012, 11:20PM

    BaldSeagull, I too would have no problem with taxing a club such as the one you describe. If it exists. I live in town, do voluntary work with drunk revellers until 4am and I don't know of any nightclub in town that does throw people out the back door onto the street. Perhaps you'd care to elucidate? The danger of imposing a late night levy is that it would have a disproportionate effect on the niche venues that are virtually on their knees already. I spoke earlier this evening with the proprietor of one bar in Bath Road who hasn't drawn a salary for two months. If they introduce this levy, he will have to close at midnight instead of 1am. All that money for one extra hour?Make no mistake, it won't affect the likes of Fever, moomoo and Subtone. Not that I have any problem with the above-mentioned, but they are a bit bread-and-butter.

  • BaldSeagull  |  December 17 2012, 8:49PM

    I live very close to a nightclub in Cheltenham, and I hear (and see) them regularly throwing drunk people out the back doors and onto the street. Often once they are outside, if they are not on their hands and knees vomiting in the street, they fight and smash bottles/glasses or anything they can get their hands on. And then at closing the drunken mob come out and behave exactly the same (with added takeaway wrappers and boxes strewn everywhere)! I don't have ANY problem at all with taxing clubs like that.

  • Nogman  |  December 17 2012, 8:26PM

    @tishwash:"Stop bashing supermarkets, clubs are getting greedier with their drinks prices forcing people to pre-drink as it's cheaper" Perhaps if supermarkets had to provide entertainment, toilets, door staff, bar staff and glass collectors, pay for music licences, public entertainment licences and complying with 1001 different rules and regulations then their alcohol prices might have to be the same as the nightclubs.

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  • Ms_Superstar  |  December 17 2012, 8:09PM

    @tishwash, in case it escaped your attention, there are already a number of student nightclubs in Cheltenham. Perhaps the best thing about those that haven't tried to attract students is that they haven't tried to attract students. They can, as I'm sure you'll agree, be quite tedious and immature. In the case of Embassy, I don't remember ever having to pay £5 to get in, except when there has been a cabaret, which it is quite normal to charge admission for. It varies between £4 and £6 for the 2Pigs, from what I remember. I've even paid a tenner to get into Night Owl when a band has been playing, though I have a feeling most of this went straight to the promoter. Can't think why anyone would pay £5 to get into MooMoo when you can get into any generic student-oriented nightclub for less, but I guess it's horses for courses. Yes, I think people should have to pay more for alcohol in the shops, in order to discourage binge drinking. The Government's proposed Minimum Unit Pricing law will hopefully address this (if they ever get around to enacting it). Sainsbury's, in particular, are known for their vehement opposition to this, which speaks volumes about their attitude to encouraging excessive drinking, with its long-term health and social implications. And for those supermarket chains that ask "What shall we do with the extra money that we'll be forced to charge?", here's the perfect solution: A local levy to cover the extra cost of policing, street cleansing and NHS treatment caused by their activities. And for those who say the poor would be penalised by sensible alcohol pricing, I have known poverty, indeed have narrowly escaped bankruptcy, and I can honestly say that the price of alcohol was the last thing on my mind. Being able to afford the heating bills,food and the petrol to get to work each day was a bit more important than getting rat-****d. If you can't afford a drink then you still can't afford it even if the shop or bar gives you a second one free of charge. Anyway, I'm looking at the train and nightbus times for Gloucester...

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  • tishwash  |  December 17 2012, 7:34PM

    @Ms_Superstar Embassy reduced as they weren't getting busy, they haven't event tried to get the student crowd in yet, note, charging entry probably isn't the way, £5 ? seriously ? Why wouldn't people go to MooMoo's for that price ? Night clubs do throw out drunk people too, so @whiteangeluk may be referring to those ? or how about the recent fights that have left people in hospital after revelers have been thrown out for fighting in the venue ? Stop bashing supermarkets, clubs are getting greedier with their drinks prices forcing people to pre-drink as it's cheaper, if nightclubs had sensible pricing there wouldn't be as many people going to the supermarket. What about people who don't go clubbing, should they be penalised by paying more in the shops ?

  • eyeopener  |  December 17 2012, 4:49PM

    Councillor Barbara Driver (Lansdown, C) wants to have clarification on the impact narrow streets in the town have on large recycling lorries which find it difficult to navigate and if any smaller lorries are available to the authority. If Barbara Driver had bothered to ring UBICO she would have been told that they do have smaller recycling vehicles that currently collect in Roman Road and Marle Hill Parade to give just two examples. As for the night time levy, perhaps a more determined levy (fine) on those that create the mayhem would be more appropriate especially as many pre-load before going out to the detriment of local residents especially in student areas.

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  • AndyPrestbury  |  December 17 2012, 4:29PM

    Instead of taxing the pubs and clubs why not introduce punitive fines on those that actually cause the damage and disruption? Yet again the law abiding of us will have to pay increased prices for drink and/or door entry fees, because of the actions of a mindless minority. I would much rather have a message going out that if you get into trouble in our town centre you are not welcome, and it will hit you either in your pocket or your liberty. By charging everyone more the message going out is that no-one is welcome.

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  • Scorpio2010  |  December 17 2012, 4:24PM

    "@Walker100 - I would have to question the legality of any such tax." Perfectly legal. Refer to the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, Part 2, Chapter 2, Sections 125 - 139.

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