Southwark-based operators alongside residents and customers have joined forces to oppose the introduction of a late-night levy.

UKHospitality and local businesses have gathered signatures against the controversial tax, with a petition to be delivered today to Southwark Council (17 July), ahead of a planned meeting where the levy will be discussed.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive, UKHospitality, said: “The number of people, businesses, customers and local residents, who have come together to oppose this new tax shows how strongly they feel about it.

“It also highlights how wrong Southwark Council is to even consider this unsuitable and dangerous new tax. The levy has already been dismissed by the House of Lords Committee on Licensing which recommended it be abolished.

Keith Knowles, chief executive and Founder of Beds & Bars, commented: “We have invested lots of time, money and energy over the years, along with other businesses, to help regenerate the area. After all that we have contributed, it is devastating to see the Council decide just to foist another tax on us.”

Alex Philiotis, general manager of Belushi’s, The Dugout and St Christopher’s Inn, London Bridge added: “We will be paying even more in taxes and there is no guarantee that anyone in the Borough will benefit from it. The money raised may not even be spent here. It will only restrict our ability to invest money in our venues and staff, it will reduce choice for our customers who will also suffer and make the area a much less exciting place.”