London Mayor launches night-time economy investigation

London Mayor Boris Johnson at Here East in Stratford

London Mayor Boris Johnson at Here East in Stratford - Credit: Archant

A six-month investigation into the capital’s £66billion night-time economy could see the introduction of a so-called “night mayor”, under measures announced by Boris Johnson this morning.

The outgoing Mayor of London has confirmed plans for a Night Time Commission to look at what should be done to protect and manage the city’s restaurants, bars and clubs that employ 1.3million people.

Although the long-awaited arrival of the night tube is expected to increase London’s status as a 24-hour city, City Hall wants to ensure this is balanced with other concerns including the impact on residents, safety and street-cleaning.

The commission will make recommendations about measures to support the night-time economy, including the precise role and responsibilities of a night-time champion.

“There is no doubt that the night-time economy is hugely important to our prosperity and the life of our city, but there is insufficient oversight for the way it is managed and problems are mitigated,” said Mr Johnson, who will leave his Mayoral post in May.

“It is brilliantly successful, but night-time activities can be seen as causes of noise and nuisance, whilst businesses complain that rising property values, the need for housing, licensing requirements and other red tape are damaging their operations, even leading to closures.

“If we are to compete against other world cities is vital that we develop policies to reconcile the competing needs and concerns.”

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The proposals follow the Music Venues Rescue plan, published last year, which recommended the appointment of a night-time economy champion to bring together businesses, residents and local authorities with transport, police and emergency services.

A number of cities around the world have already developed such policies, including Amsterdam and Paris, which have introduced so-called night time mayors.

The commission will report back their findings in the autumn.