Kate Nicholls has slammed the decision by Southwark Council to introduce a late-night levy in the London borough.

On 17 July a petition compiled by UKHospitality was delivered to Southwark Council, in advance of planned talks on the introduction of the levy, urging it not to introduce the tax. It contained more than 200 signatures from local businesses, residents and customers.

Reacting to the news of its introduction, Kate Nicholls, chief executive, UKHospitality, said: “Obviously, we are incredibly disappointed that Southwark Council has chosen to ignore the concerns of local businesses and residents. Pubs, bars and nightclubs that have helped drive the revitalisation of the area and foster a fantastic community spirit are now going to be penalised.

“By introducing a discredited tax, that the House of Lords recommended be abolished, Southwark Council has proven it only cares about revenue-raising, rather than supporting the local community.”

The British Beer & Pub Association also voiced its disproval on the decision.

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “Introducing a late-night levy is a backward step for Southwark. Late-night levies don’t effectively address alcohol-related issues. Instead, they unfairly tax well-run and responsible businesses such as pubs – many of which are SMEs already struggling to get by.

“The late-night levy could be the final nail in the coffin for some of Southwark’s community pubs. When business rates are the basis for the calculation, premises like pubs will pay a disproportionate share.”

The levy will come into effect on 1 September 2019.