‘This is not a curfew’ – Hackney Mayor responds to restrictive new licensing laws

Policy sees night venues restricted to new closing times

Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville has defended controversial new licensing laws in the town.

The new policy will see any new bars, clubs and restaurants in the area subjected to an automatic 11PM curfew on weekdays, and a 12AM curfew on weekends, unless they can prove they are “responsible” and will not have a “negative impact on the area” if they stay open later than the curfew.

The new regulations also double the size of the Shoreditch Special Policy Area (SPA) which gives councils stronger powers in turning down license applications.

Hackney is home to a number of venues, bars and clubs including Dalston Superstore, Birthdays, Oslo, Hackney Showroom, Moth Club, The Shacklewell Arms and Brilliant Corners.

But Mayor Glanville claims the new regulations can still allow Hackney’s nightlife to flourish.

London Night Czar Amy Lame

“I’d be very, absolutely, categorically clear this is not a curfew,” he told Mixmag. “The core hours are a base of application. If you are a well-run venue going up to 11pm the presumption is you are likely to get those hours. If you want to go beyond that, it is a higher degree of scrutiny, but it doesn’t say you won’t get them.”

He added: “[The licensing policy] is aimed to strike the right balance between a really flourishing and diverse nighttime economy around bars, venues and clubs with the fact Hackney is a very small borough with residential populations in and around our town centres.

“I’m someone that passionately believes in what the nighttime economy has brought to Hackney, but I also know that there are counter voices and we as a council need to balance those two things off.

Mayor Glanville liaises with the London’s Night Czar Amy Lamé, who recently also defended the new regulations.

“I don’t want to see the regulations used to reduce existing licensing. It’s about new venues that are coming forward, so it isn’t about resetting to 11pm or 12pm,” added Mayor Glanville.”