Ben Ramanauskas bemoans the lack of late night alcohol venues in Hammersmith and then asserts that Soho has insufficient alcohol led entertainment after midnight.
In fact Soho is well supplied with alcohol venues after midnight. In a quarter of a square mile there are 115 licences with a terminal hour of 1am or later and 40 of that total are licensed to 3am. The total capacity of 99 of those licences is 21,643.
Ben says that the lack of alcohol licences is due to the influence of Soho’s predominantly “old and rich” residents. Of the 2,600 people who live in Soho, 30 per cent are in public housing. None of these people are rich, though many are families and key workers and their families have lived here for generations. There are 425 children under 18 living in Soho.
New licences continue to be granted in Soho by the council despite police objections on the issue of the prevention of crime and disorder.
If Ben is right about the unalloyed benefits to the economy and jobs of more late night alcohol venues
that would be true across all of London – not just Soho.The opportunity for growing the economy, creating jobs and giving our underserved youth more places to drink at night is in all of London, not just in Soho which is already saturated and something of a crime hotspot as a result.
It is the rest of London, not Soho, where the Mayor should now concentrate his efforts on liberalisation.