MD2023 Appointment of a Night Czar

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Date signed: 
18 August 2016
Decision by: 
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Executive summary

As London welcomes the Night Tube, the capital needs to maximise the economic and social impact of a growing night time economy while ensuring that public safety is maintained and residents can get a good night’s sleep.  To do so, the GLA has set up a Night Time Commission, bringing together local authorities, businesses, TfL, the police and other agencies.

To lead this work, and deliver the Mayor’s Manifesto commitment to safely and responsibly develop London’s evening and night time economy, the Mayor now seeks to appoint a Night Czar. This individual will: work with the Night Time Commission to develop a vision for London as a 24-hour city; produce a roadmap of how to realise the vision; and work with local authorities to create best practice guidance for developing and diversifying the evening and night time economy across London.


To approve:

•    The appointment of a Night Czar and delivery of the work programme set out below.

•    Expenditure of £20,000 in 2016-17 and £20,000 in 2017-18


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    In London, the evening and night time economy is recognised internationally, attracting domestic and international visitors. 

1.2    It is a key driver of the economic and cultural regeneration of town centres. London’s night time economy is worth £26.3bn and employs 700,000 people.

1.3    However, London has lost 50% of its nightclubs and 40% of music venues since 2007.  There is a wide range of practices in regards to licensing and enforcement across the boroughs and boroughs are not sharing best practice to support and develop their 24 hour offer. 

1.4    In the Manifesto, the Mayor stated that he will support London’s evening and night time economy and advocate publicly for London as a 24 hour city.  However, there is no system for London’s boroughs to share best practice and support each other in developing their evening and night time economies. 

1.5    To address this problem, the GLA established the Night Time Commission, an advisory group of local authorities, businesses, TfL, the police and other agencies. The Night Time Commission has commissioned research to measure the economic and social impact of London’s evening and night time economy and better understand the opportunities and challenges.

1.6    To continue this, the Night Czar will work with local authorities and the Night Time Commission,  champion London as a 24- hour city, create a roadmap to implement the vision and produce guidance on developing and diversifying the evening and night time economy across London whilst respecting residents’ need for a good night’s sleep.

1.7    London needs to act now to protect and manage the capital’s status as a 24-hour city. Many European and global cities have already put strategies in place and Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris have appointed night time mayors.

1.8    The cost of this appointment will be £20,000 in 2016-17. This will be met from the Corporate Contingency Budget. 2017-18 costs of a further £20,000 will be approved in the annual budget setting process.

1.9    The initial appointment will be for a period of one year and the officeholder will be paid up to £35,000 per annum for up to two-and-a-half days’ work per week. The Night Czar will act as the Chair or Deputy Chair of the Night Commission.  The total cost to the GLA for this appointment will be £40,000 and it will cross two financial years (2016-17 and 2017-18). Subsequent extensions will be subject to further approval.

1.10    Creation of the Night Time Commission and allocation of the initial budget was approved on MD1610.

1.11    A consultant has been appointed to manage the Night Time Commission and the London Music Board work. Approval is currently being sought to extend the consultant’s contract to 31 March 2017 on DD2035.

1.12    Following an interview process which will be conducted by the Deputy Mayor for Culture, the Mayor will make a final decision on the appointment. 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1     Appoint a Night Czar for an initial period of one year commencing in Autumn 2016 to engage with local authorities and businesses across London to share the work of the Night Time Commission to date and inform the future work programme.

2.2     The Night Czar will deliver the following objectives: 

i)    A vision for London as a 24-hour city

ii)    A roadmap to implement the vision

iii)    A ’24-hour London Best Practice Guide’ 

iv)    Oversee the completion and publication of Westminster University’s research into London’s evening and night time economy, including economic and social impact, crime and alcohol, licensing, regulatory and tourism research.

v)    Work closely with the London Music Board to introduce the ‘Agent of Change’ principle in London-wide planning and licensing policies

2.3    The expected outcomes for the Night Czar’s work programme are:
i)    Key stakeholders have a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities for London’s night time economy and a plan to address / realise them.

ii)    There is better coordination and collaboration across London in the development of London’s night time activity.

iii)    Best practice in the development and diversification of the night time economy is contributed to and shared between London’s local authorities, businesses, the police and other agencies, including national and international examples

iv)    The Night Czar’s vision for London as a 24-hour city is widely supported by key stakeholders across London.

v)    Challenges around the balance between residential and late night uses have been properly addressed through the Night Czar’s vision and roadmap.

Equality comments

3.1    In accordance with the obligations imposed on the GLA under equalities legislation including the public sector equality duty in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 the Night Czar will take into consideration that the growth of the night time economy (7PM – 7AM) may impact different groups in different ways, for example residents, young Londoners, night shift workers, workers on low incomes. The equalities implications of the Night Czar’s work will be actively considered on an ongoing basis. 

3.2    The Night Time Commission are specifically addressing how the safety of women attending night time activities or working at night can be improved.

3.3    The Night Time Commission is working closely with the Queer Venues Network.

3.4    Accessibility consultants Attitude is Everything are a member of the London Music Board and will work closely with the Night Czar and Night Time Commission to ensure that disabled workers and consumers are considered in the development of policy and strategy.

3.5    The position will be openly advertised and a recruitment process will take place.

Other considerations

4.1    London First and the Night Time Industries Association have commissioned separate research on the economic impact on localised areas in London which will feed into the larger research guided by the Night Czar. 

4.2    A number of key stakeholders have been involved in the development of this work programme to date. They include: local authorities, London Councils; the Local Government Association, various business associations, developers, MoPAC, the Metropolitan Police, the Noise Abatement Society.

4.3    There has also been initial consultation with night time mayors and night mayor programs in Amsterdam, San Francisco and Berlin to learn from their schemes. 

4.4    It is not considered necessary to further consult with the stakeholders referred to in section 6.4 of this mayoral decision or with any other bodies at this stage. The Mayor has already informally consulted with all the members of the Night Time Commission, including local authorities, the Night Time Industries Association, the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, the Metropolitan Police, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, the Department for Culture Media and Sport, the Home Office, London First and Transport for London, with a number of additional local authorities and with the Music Venue Trust. Their views have been taken into account in the decision to appoint a Night Czar. Further consultation will form an integral part of the work of the Night Czar who will actively engage with key stakeholders as part of the work he/she does.

4.5    Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

i)     Appoint a ‘Night Czar’ to champion London’s vibrant night-time economy.

ii)     Protect London’s live music venues, clubs and pubs by introducing an “Agent for Change” rule so new developments next to existing venues meet soundproofing costs.

iii)     Continue to back major cultural festivals to celebrate London’s religious and racial diversity, and ensure Pride continues to be a fantastic, community-led showcase of all of London’s LGBTQI communities

iiii)     Support London’s international status and highlight cultural and economic investment within the evening and night time economy.

v)     The London Plan (policy 4.7) recommends a strong partnership approach to ‘assessing the need and bringing forward capacity for retail, commercial, culture and leisure development in town centres’. 

Key Risks

Mitigation Actions



Delays in recruiting the Night Czar



The Night Time Commission is already functioning.  Research has been commissioned and is on time.  Local authorities and partnerships are underway.  



Night Time Commission report is delayed



Research timetable and budget monitored regularly and clear and deliverable deadlines agreed. 



Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for expenditure of up to £40,000 for the appointment of a Night Czar and delivery of the work programme detailed above. Appointment of the Night Czar will be for an initial period of one year commencing in October 2016, therefore up to £20,000 will be spent in 2016-17 and £20,000 in 2017-18.  

5.2    The expenditure for 2016-17 will be met from the Corporate Contingency Budget, and the £20,000 required in 2017-18 will be approved in the annual budget setting process. 

5.3    The Culture Strategy Team within the Communities & Intelligence Directorate will be responsible for managing this project.

Planned delivery approach and next steps

8.1    The Night Czar will be a GLA Office Holder. The role description is attached as a supporting document. The role will be advertised on the GLA website and distributed to the members of the Night Time Commission.

8.2    The Night Czar will be supported by dedicated staff in the GLA culture team.



Recruitment of Night Czar

August / September

Nigh Czar in post

Autumn 2016

Vision, Roadmap and Best Practice Guidance published

Spring / Summer 2016

Review of Night Czar role

Summer 2017

End of first year of Night Czar contract

Late 2017


Appendices and supporting papers

9.1         Please see the attached Night Czar role description.