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Liverpool late night levy challenge defeated

The High Court has dismissed a challenge to the decision of Liverpool City Council to introduce a late night levy.

The judicial review claim was brought by the Pub Invest Group Limited, a local chain. It relied on six grounds. These included a challenge to the quality of local consultation on the proposal, which had been conducted both electronically and at street level, a complaint that while the Council's Licensing and Gambling Sub-Committee had not supported adoption, the Full Council had taken the opposite decision, and a criticism that the ultimate vote had been whipped along party lines. The Claimant also attacked the date of implementation of the levy, which was later than the date consulted upon for implementation.

Permission to bring the claim was refused by the High Court. The Judge thought the consultation adequate, found that the consultation responses had been properly taken into account, and pointed out that the decision was for the Full Council which was entitled to take a different view from a subordinate committee. He found no basis for the allegation that a decision reached at a full council meeting following a whip is unlawful or irrational. He also rejected the challenge based on the date of implementation, which had aroused little comment during the consultation. Costs were ordered in favour of the Council.

Philip Kolvin QC of Cornerstone Barristers acted for Liverpool City Council, instructed by Robin Thomaides.