Fear of the Night? Really? When Westminster presides over the biggest evening and night time economy in the country? Professor Frank Furedi, as front man for a new lobby group called the Night Time Industries Association, claimed to have detected paranoia in government about the whole idea of night life.
It’s not really fair. Westminster council is the Licensing Authority for most of the West End. If it suffered from collective paranoia about night life, somebody would have shut it down by now.
About 60% of the Night Time Industries Association’s members, who are operators of licensed premises, are based in London. Yet many of the group’s concerns are with areas in the regions which have been regenerated by drinking and music venues, but are threatened by the residential development that has followed that regeneration.
Here in Westminster the wider West End population of 59,000 residents has always been there. And our policy on office to residential conversions in changing. Nor are we proposing to use Public Space Protection Orders to control licensed premises.
We love the night.
We just want our residents to love it too.