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Ultimatum for City Hall over Islington drinking tax

14:59 28 January 2013

Islington Council wants to ensure town hall keeps the money for local policing.

Islington Council wants to ensure town hall keeps the money for local policing.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A proposed tax on late-night drinking will only be implemented if City Hall promises any money raised would go towards policing in Islington, the council has insisted.

Bars, restaurants and off-licences across the borough face being charged up to £4,440 per year to sell alcohol past midnight under the new “late night levy”, with 70 per cent of the funds generated going towards policing.

Islington Council has previously pledged to introduce the charge this year, but the council’s crime chief has now voiced concerns that the share of the money dedicated to policing will end up with the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC), rather than in the borough.

Cllr Paul Convery, the executive member of community safety, said: “We want a cast iron guarantee that the 70 per cent for policing is going to come back to Islington. We don’t want to start taxing Islington businesses to fund City Hall.

“If it’s just going to be poured into the general coffers of MOPAC then we’re not going to do it.”

He added that the council’s 30 per cent share of whatever the levy raises, which could be as much as £500,000 per year in total, will be ring-fenced to pay for clean-up costs related to Islington’s drinking culture.

He said: “That 30 per cent is not just going to disappear into town hall coffers.”

A spokesman for the Mayor of London said: “No decision has been made, but we expect the boroughs to retain a large share of what the levy raises.”

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