Your Councillors


Communities, Housing and Environment Committee

17/11/15

Is the final decision on the recommendations in this report to be made at this meeting?


Yes

 

Information Report: The cost of the Maidstone Night Time Economy

 

Final Decision-Maker

Communities, Housing and Environment Committee

Lead Head of Service

John Littlemore

Lead Officer and Report Author

Sarah Robson

Classification

Public

Wards affected

High Street Ward

 

 

This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

1.   That the Committee notes the updated content of the report. Please note that the CCTV figure provided was for a weekly figure, rather than daily figure.

 

 

 

This report relates to the following corporate priorities:

·         Keeping Maidstone Borough an attractive place for all – The report helps to meet the service plan priorities to manage statutory enforcement in relation to nuisance, licensing and food and safety, and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

 

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

Committee (Communities, Housing and Environment Committee)

17/11/15



Information Report: The cost of the Maidstone Night Time Economy

 

 

1.        PURPOSE OF REPORT AND EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

1.1   Prior to the recent move to Committee system, Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (in their capacity as the Crime and Disorder Reduction Committee) were keen understand the costs of managing Maidstone’s night time economy (NTE) in terms of policing, CCTV, street cleansing and licensing.

 

 

 

2.        INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

2.1     The NTE brings many benefits to the borough, including employment, regeneration, creating a vibrant town centre, improving the positive perception and awareness of the borough. However it also creates the potential for problems in nightlife hotspots such as anti social behaviour, crime, waste, and alcohol related harm. However, most people drink responsibly and go home safely.

 

2.2     A NTE does not mean a night club economy - restaurants, pubs and cultural venues are important parts of Maidstone’s night time economy and there is support for these to be developed more in the borough to offer greater diversity and to attract a wider age range of people who are able to enjoy going out in the borough at night.

 

2.3     Whilst there is no standard definition for the night time economy, it is often taken to be economic activity which occurs between the hours of 6.00pm to 6.00am and involves the provision of entertainment, food, and drink usually in a social context.

 

2.4     However, most people would say that the night time economy is the activity takes place after 10.30 / 11.00pm.

 

2.5     For the purposes of this report, the focus is the cost of the night time economy in the town centre to Maidstone Borough Council and Kent Police. However, it also includes incoming business rates to outline some of its cost benefits.

 

 

 

 

3.        AVAILABLE OPTIONS

 

3.1     This Report does not provide available options, as it provides a factual information update only on the costs associated with the NTE.

 

 

 

 

4.        PREFERRED OPTION AND REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

 

4.1     See above.

 

 

5.       CONSULTATION RESULTS AND PREVIOUS COMMITTEE FEEDBACK

 

5.1     A Maidstone NTE Task and Finish group was established in June this year, bringing together partners from Kent Police and the Borough Council’s Community Safety, Licensing, Street Cleansing, Economic Development and Revenues and Benefits (business rates) teams in order to review current costs of maintaining a safe and clean town centre as part of Saturday’s NTE.

 

5.2     Focusing on Saturday night, the busiest night for Maidstone’s NTE, figures show that:

 

Organisation

£ expenditure (per Saturday evening)

Resource

Kent Police

£1,146.08

Officer presence, processing prisoners, investigating crime allegations

Maidstone Borough Council

£616.44

CCTV coverage in the town centre

Maidstone Borough Council

£400.00

Street cleansing – x2 members of staff, public urinal

Maidstone Borough Council

£199.80

Licensing enforcement

Total

£2,362.32

 

 

5.3     Based on the above figures, agencies jointly resource Maidstone’s NTE every Saturday, spending approximately £122,840.64 over a year.

 

5.4     Additional voluntary resources are provided through the Urban Blue bus, Street Pastors and Taxi Marshalls, which provide in excess of 4,000 hours of voluntary cover, dealing with more than 600 incidents per annum and reducing ambulance call-outs and A&E admissions due to alcohol.

 

5.5     Maidstone has a number of pubs and clubs which open late (up to 3 am) on Saturday, including: The Gallery, Source Bar, Dawn to Dusk, Strawberry Moons, Mu, Mu’s, Bar Chocolate, Muggletons, The Brenchley and The Society Rooms. However, these businesses impact positively on Maidstone’s economy, providing employment opportunities, alongside income through their Annual Rates payable.

 

5.6     On an annual basis, the above businesses raise £322,791.75 in rates, with the Borough Council receiving 40% (£129,116.70), Kent County Council 10% and the balance to government.

 

 

 

6.       NEXT STEPS: COMMUNICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISION

 

6.1     Although for information purposes only, the report may be useful in respect of defining the Borough Council’s future development and management of the evening and late night economies through its planning, environmental protection and licensing powers, alongside supporting Kent County Council which holds the public health remit and a duty to improve the health and wellbeing of Maidstone’s residents and it also commissions drug and alcohol services and lastly, Kent Police, which has the leading role in reducing crime and disorder.

 

 

 

7.       CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS

 

Issue

Implications

Sign-off

Impact on Corporate Priorities

The report helps to meet the service plan priorities to manage statutory enforcement in relation to nuisance, licensing and food and safety, and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

John Littlemore, Head of Housing and Community Services.

Risk Management

None for the purposes of this report.

 

 

Financial

None for the purposes of this report.

 

 

Staffing

None for the purposes of this report.

 

 

Legal

None for the purposes of this report.

 

 

Equality Impact Needs Assessment

None for the purposes of this report.

 

 

Environmental/Sustainable Development

None for the purposes of this report.

 

 

Community Safety

None for the purposes of this report.

 

 

Human Rights Act

None for the purposes of this report.

 

 

Procurement

None for the purposes of this report.

 

 

Asset Management

None for the purposes of this report.

 

 

 

8.        REPORT APPENDICES

 

The following documents are to be published with this report and form part of the report:

·         None

 

 

9.        BACKGROUND PAPERS

 

·         None