BUSINESSES could be taxed to fund extra safety measures in the Royal Borough’s night-time economy.

In April, councillors sitting on the licensing panel were presented with a range of possible options to deal with issues from the night-time economy, such as restricting late-night alcohol sales or adding a borough-wide night-time levy on businesses that operate between midnight and 6am.

A new option includes imposing a levy on local organisations within a certain district of the borough to cover extra safety, street cleaning, environmental measures, or any other issues arising from the night-time economy.

This is called a Business Improvement District (BID) where the council could apply to the business-led organisation that raises money via a local levy for projects within the BID area and boundaries.

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It operates differently from the borough-wide night-time levy as a BID focuses on a specific area of the Royal Borough.

Greg Nelson, trading standards and licensing manager, said it was “unlikely” that businesses would see both the night-time levy and the BID imposed on them.

However, he said if cabinet were minded to go with the borough-wide night-time levy, it could raise over £200,000 per year, nearly half of which would come from Windsor. But 70 per cent of that would go to Thames Valley Police while the council would collect the remaining sum.

Meanwhile, a 2am to 6am levy could raise £51,500 and a three-hour levy could raise £27,000.

Speaking at the licensing panel on Tuesday, July 5, independent councillor Jon Davey (Clewer & Dedworth West) those funds could only afford “a third of a Bobby [police officer]”.

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He said: “It seems to me, the energy put into this would far exceed any value that we get out of it.”

Any money raised from BID won’t go to the police but the independent organisation that runs BID spends it as they see fit.

Cllr Geoff Hill (TBFI: Oldfield) said: “[All] business’ costs are going up quite dramatically. Is it right to consider a night-time levy when businesses are struggling and going out of business?”

He also said the borough might have “less of a problem” than it had before, claiming fewer people are going out to pubs and nightclubs due to the cost of living crisis.

Cabinet will decide which option to go with as part of the night-time economy strategy this August.