- Elliot Colburn, Member of Parliament for Carshalton and Wallington, has called on music fans and night-time lovers to share their views in a Parliamentary survey on nightlife.
- He has also written today to the Chancellor to make direct representations on behalf of the Night Time Economy, and to ask for additional industry-specific support for those businesses affected.
After the successful launch of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Night Time Economy in December, the group of cross-party MPs and Peers met again last week to continue crucial discussions on the challenges facing the nightlife sector due to COVID-19 and the ensuing restrictions.
The APPG has launched an urgent inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 on UK nightlife and is investigating how the sector can reopen and recover from the pandemic.
The meeting was attended by representatives from the Night Time Economy and several members of Parliament.
Elliot Colburn MP has encouraged all Carshalton and Wallington residents to share their views on the nightlife sector to tell the Government what nightlife means to them.
An industry-wide online survey has been launched by the APPG and is asking for employers, employees, freelancers and consumers to take part and submit evidence to the group on how the sector has been affected by the pandemic and its importance to the cultural and economic life of the UK.
“I very much welcome the launch of this survey by the APPG Night Time Economy, which I was pleased to join last year, and would encourage as many people across Carshalton and Wallington to take part.
“Throughout the pandemic, I have been contacted by so many people who are affected by the closure of late night venues – those who work there, and those who enjoy going to them, including people concerned about the long-term impact on the UK dance music campaign.
“I was pleased to lead a debate in Westminster on this very issue last year, where I highlighted the impact that COVID continues to have on clubs, festivals, gigs, and the wider live events industry such as theatres like the Cryer Arts Centre in Carshalton.
“I am working closely with industry representatives from the UK hospitality sector – including pub chains like Young’s and Stonegate and nightclubs like Heaven in central London where I know some local residents work – to raise their concerns with the Government.
“I discussed the need for greater support with the Chancellor and the Minister for Small Business – Paul Scully, the Member of Parliament for Sutton and Cheam – earlier this week, and I am seeking further meetings with Ministers as soon as possible.”
Michael Kill, Chief Executive of the Night Time Industries Association, said:
“Commercial rents have been a travesty, with over 70% of businesses within our sector in more than two quarters of rent arrears and with debts mounting day by day.
“Time is running out and there seems to be no rush to find a resolution.
”We are overwhelmed by the support that the APPG has received in a very short period of time and look forward to analysing the results from the inquiry to present a formal report to the Government.
“We ask all those who work in the Night Time Economy, or simply enjoy a night out, to continue sending in your responses to our survey to make your voices heard.”
Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, Chief Executive of UK Music, said:
“When the time for the post-pandemic recovery comes, the music industry can help power our country’s economic and cultural revival.
“But to play that key role in the recovery phase, we must ensure our sector gets the support it needs to survive through the worst of the pandemic.
“This is a welcome inquiry that recognises the both the vital importance of the Night Time Economy and the existential challenges it has faced over the course of this pandemic – and is focused on finding clear solutions to ensure our industries can make it to the other side of the pandemic.”