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Advertiser letters: Late-night levy and Brexit locally

PUBLISHED: 08:00 16 December 2017

Pauline Forster oustide her pub in Commercial Road.

Pauline Forster oustide her pub in Commercial Road.

Mike Brooke

Letters, contributions and comments sent in to the Advertiser this week.

Tackle alcohol shop sales

Pauline Forster, landlady, The George Tavern, writes:

Tower Hamlets has decided to introduce a late-night levy on bars and venues, starting in January.

This comes as yet another affront to grass roots music venues trying to continue to exist in a landscape which punishes small business owners and damages community cornerstones. This levy, aimed at establishments serving alcohol between the hours of midnight and 6am, is completely misguided.

When a patron of our venue, or any other similar venue, is purchasing alcohol in a licenced bar they are off the streets and in a safe and secure environment which allows them to make merry and enjoy their evening. They are not committing any crimes or causing disruption to residential areas.

The real culprits are off-licences, convenience stores and supermarkets selling hard liquor to anyone over a certain age, regardless of their current intoxication levels.

Our rules and guidelines as a licenced alcohol retailer is to not sell to anyone who is clearly drunk or likely to cause trouble. We have security as well as a well-trained bar team ensuring that this is the case.

The council should consider revoking this new levy and putting more effort and attention into the distribution and sale of over the counter liquor in shops.

Brexit in Tower Hamlets

Cllr Rabina Khan, Shadwell ward, leader for People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets, writes:

The impact of a hard Brexit would cost London’s economy more than £100 billion over five years, according to research

Tower Hamlets would be one of the hardest hit boroughs, losing some 8 per cent of output worth £11 billion, because of its reliance on industries that are significant exporters, at risk of offshoring to the EU. A hard Brexit will cause financial firms to move from Canary Wharf to more favourable cities in Europe, resulting in fewer jobs and reduced commercial and housing development.

Yet the mayor’s draft Local Plan barely mentions Brexit and relies on growth predictions that predate the referendum. We need a programme to look at replacing lost EU funding, and development that isn’t reliant on industries that could desert us.

I’m calling for the establishment of a Tower Hamlets Brexit Taskforce to plan to protect the local economy, local regeneration projects, its residents, workers, businesses during this time of uncertainty.

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