Night time economy

MQT on 2017-07-13
Session date: 
July 13, 2017
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


In developing the night time economy, how will you ensure that the interests of local residents in such areas are fully protected?


Answer for Night time economy

Answer for Night time economy

Answered By: 
The Mayor


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Thank you, Deputy Chairman.  Protecting the interests of London’s residents, workers and visitors is vital when developing London as a 24-hour city.  One in eight jobs in the capital are at night.  This is said to grow in the coming years.  However, a balance must be struck between work, play and sleep for London’s 8.8 million residents.




To support this, I am aiming to support a standalone agent-of-change policy in my new London Plan.  This policy will require borrowers to consider refusing development proposals that have not clearly demonstrated how noise impacts will be mitigated and managed.  We are also listening to the views of local residents.  TfL is working to mitigate the impact of Night Tube services, guaranteeing a response to any complaints they may receive.  Amy Lamé, my Night Czar, is holding night surgeries in boroughs and town centres across the capital.  We are working with local authorities and local councillors, for example, on our Night Time Borough Champions Network, which includes one councillor and one officer from every local authority, through Talk London, which has over 40,000 users.




The safety of London is also a top priority.  This includes ensuring that antisocial behaviour and crime are dealt with.  Neighbourhood policing is key to this.  It is usually important that local councils, the police and industry all come together to devise creative solutions that support a safe night-time economy.  I want business crime reduction partnerships to help devise local solutions and for the police to have more consistent licence and guidance.




We have never planned for London at night in the same way we do for London in the daytime.  I want to change that.  I will publish my vision for London as a 24-hour city in the coming weeks.  Amy Lamé and Philip Kolvin QC, the Chair of my Night Time Commission, are attending a session with the Economy Committee later in July to outline the vision.  By planning positively for a 24-hour city, I believe we can make London a safer, healthier, fairer and more accessible city for all Londoners.




Andrew Dismore AM:  Thank you, Mr Mayor.  Last week the Economy Committee held a workshop with residents, night-workers and councillors.  One of the issues that came out was the need for a more diverse evening economy which worked with the wider community, the NHS, the police, the Mayor and councillors developing best practice.




One concern is that the evening and night-time economies are lumped together as one when in fact they are very different, with the evening economy worth roughly four times the night-time economy.  The evening economy is restaurants, theatres, cinemas and so forth.  The night-time economy is more about bars and clubbing.




Would you recognise the distinction between the evening and night economies?  In speaking about it, looking at their important contribution to the economy on the one hand and the downside for residents on the other, will you reflect this difference?




Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  I am not sure if I would, actually.  How you define ‘night’ can be when it is dusk or when it is evening.  One of the problems in relation to night-life and evening-life has been, for example, public transport accessibility; for example, concerns around public safety; for example, legitimate concerns from residents about antisocial behaviour, about difficulties people have getting to and from places of work in the evenings when public transport is less good.  What we are trying to do is understand the concerns people have in all sorts of issues from the evening going through the night.




I am very excited because we will have the night Overground later on this year, which will help the east of London.  That will help porters, cleaners, doctors and nurses get to and from work.  Is that evening?  Is that night-time?  Some restaurants will be able to open later.  Some theatres may change the time they put on performances from early evening to later evening.  I am not sure if I necessarily agree with the distinction that you refer to.




Andrew Dismore AM:  Night-time workers’ main concerns were over pay conditions and inadequacy of night-time transport, particularly safety on the night buses.  I have received many complaints from residents, particularly in Camden, about antisocial behaviour and uncontrolled drug dealing and taking with inadequate and unresponsive policing.




What can you do to reassure and protect residents, in particular increase the police presence, to deal with the worst excesses of the night-time economy and to support the local authorities who do not have the funds to manage the night-time economy with street cleaning, environmental officers and so forth due to the cuts from central Government?




Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Yes.  It is a really important point you raise.  The business crime reduction partnerships and the work the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are doing across London is really important here.  One of the reasons why we are so keen to restore real neighbourhood policing was the importance police officers have in their local community.  By the end of this year, every ward in London will have two dedicated police officers, plus a community support officer, who will know their wards, know their businesses and be able to work with them to address antisocial behaviour.




My job is made much harder by the fact that I have coming around the corner £400 million worth of cuts I have to make and there could be a change in the police funding formula and we are still getting the NICC money.  I am working incredibly hard not to lose frontline police officers.  As it is, we could be losing half of the police front-office counters.  We may have to make other cuts in the police budget.  We are doing our best, working with businesses, working with residents and working with councils.  Our police officers are working incredibly hard.




You are right that unless there is an injection of resources from central Government it makes our life much harder.  The reason why I ask for support from central Government is not simply the obvious point around safety, but one in eight jobs in London is now from the night-time economy.  It is in the economic interest of the country for London to do well.  London does well, but London does well because of the night-time economy.