Laura Sharman 15 January 2015

Councils spending millions to ‘prop up’ drinks industry

Councils spending millions to ‘prop up’ drinks industry image

Councils are being forced to divert at least £1.5m a month from frontline services to ‘subsidise’ the drinks industry, town hall chiefs are warning.

New figures from the Local Government Association (LGA) reveal that since the introduction of nationally-set licensing fees in 2005, councils are having to pay towards licensing applications, consultations and taking action on licensing breaches.

New analysis shows this funding could have filled three million potholes, paid the salaries of more than 5,000 social workers or funded 28 million meals on wheels.

Cllr Tony Page, LGA licensing spokesman, said: ‘At a time when every penny is needed to protect essential services, it is unacceptable for councils to keep being forced to spend millions each year to subsidise the drinks industry. This is money which would be better spent patching up our crumbling roads and easing the pressure on squeezed social care budgets.

‘Councils are desperate to settle this ever-growing tab once and for all. We need the Government to finally honour its commitment to introduce locally-set fees to allow local authorities to recover the actual cost of applications and end such a needless waste of taxpayers’ money.’

The LGA is calling on the Government to allow councils to set their own licensing fees.

Overcoming the barriers to Commercial Card use image

Overcoming the barriers to Commercial Card use

Want to reap the benefits of Commercial Cards but coming up against some challenges? James Sykes, Head of Commercial Cards, Lloyds Bank and David Legg, Head of Corporate Card Products, Lloyds Bank, discuss how the payments industry is helping organisations unlock their true value.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Project Manager

Leicestershire County Council
Up to £50,823 per annum
The role of this post is to oversee the project management, development and implementation of the County Council’s Major Transport Projects.. Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Programme and Change Delivery Manager (Spatial Planning and Urban Design)

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£43,833 - £53,115 Depending on skills and experience
Are you a change delivery manager with expertise in England’s local government spatial planning and urban design sector? Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Early Years Practitioner

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£26,544 - £30,618 per annum pro rata
This is a diverse area and we have high aspirations for all our children, starting with... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Programme Manager - Association of Directors of Children’s Services

City of York Council
£50,000 to £60,000 pa
This role will help to shape an annual SLI work plan and variously oversee, facilitate, commission or directly deliver and... York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

School Wellbeing Worker

City of York Council
£27,614 to £30,602 per annum
The role will involve providing schools with consultation and advice, training, direct work in... York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue