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Action needed on noise complaints threatening London pubs says Tory London Mayor hopeful

Crowds in Soho   (Getty Images)
Crowds in Soho (Getty Images)

City Hall must tackle councils closing down pubs and clubs over noise complaints because it is threatening London’s nightlife, a Conservative contender for Mayor has said.

Samuel Kasumu vowed to name and shame boroughs that “prevent the local economy from flourishing” by closing venues, or not allowing new ones to open, over grumblings from a minority of residents.

Dozens of London pubs and clubs were hit by noise complaints in 2022, following two years of Covid lockdowns.

Mr Kasumu, a former Downing Street aide to Boris Johnson, said people who live in the capital should expect some noise.

“No offence but it’s London,” he told the Standard. “You’re living in London. It’s the most cosmopolitan, most dynamic city in the world. So you know, deal with it.

“If there are barriers that are preventing the local economy from flourishing during the day or in the evening, well then we need to make sure people know about it.

“And I think very often you, particularly as local councillors, you hear from the most pro-active voices, and very often those most proactive voices are homeowners. yes, but also folks who are slightly older. But they don’t represent the whole of an area and so your renters or other people they still deserve a voice.”

Samuel Kasumu says he would review the London Night Czar job if he was selected as the Tory candidate and won City Hall at the election next May (Samuel Kasumu)
Samuel Kasumu says he would review the London Night Czar job if he was selected as the Tory candidate and won City Hall at the election next May (Samuel Kasumu)

The 35-year-old Welwyn Hatfield councillor said he would review the London Night Czar job if he was selected as the Tory candidate and won City Hall at the election next May.

The £116,000-a-year role, currently held by writer and presenter Amy Lame, is to champion London’s nightlife scene and work to make the capital a 24-hour city

“You want somebody who has skin in the game [in that job] because they are playing an active economic role themselves,” Mr Kasumu said. “I’m worried about the value for money.”

Under Government legislation venues are required to prevent public nuisance, including excessive noise.

But licence reviews can be called by a small number of disgruntled residents and police can object to new locations opening if they think it could contribute to disorder.

The Sultan in Wimbledon and Kiss The Sky in Crouch End both faced licensing reviews last year because of noise complaints.

The Compton Arms, which was a favourite pub of George Orwell, was saved from closure when Islington Council reviewed its licence over objections to boisterous guests. But the pub was still issued a “dispersal order”.

Owners of The Jago in Dalston dished out £15,000 in legal fees after the music venue was slapped with a noise abatement notice last year.

The 200-year-old Globe pub in Marylebone was hauled before Westminster Council because its morning deliveries were deemed “too loud” by a neighbour.

Last week Greggs gave up its fight with Westminster Council to sell hot food and drinks at its flagship Leicester Square store.

The baker was refused the all-night licence over police fears it could result in wave of “crime and disorder”. The business settled on a 2am licence from Thursday to Saturday.

Mr Kasumu proposed setting up “creative hubs” across the city where it would be easier for gig venues to thrive and get permission to open after 11pm.

“One of the things I’m really passionate about is economic development corporations. We’ve got two, including the Olympic Global Development Corporation.

“And we want to get to a point where we have four, north south east and west, and that will allow each of these local areas to really invest in creating a sense of identity.”

Nominations for the Tory mayoral candidate closed on Monday morning – with at least eight people bidding for the right to take on Sadiq Khan next May.

Entries had to be received by 9am, though a party spokesman declined to confirm how many bids had been accepted by the deadline.

Government minister Paul Scully appears to be the front-runner. Others who have declared publicly alongside Mr Kasumu are London Assembly members Susan Hall and Andrew Boff, ex Lewisham councillor Duwayne Brooks, former political advisor Daniel Korski, a former aide to the Royal family Natalie Campbell and businessman Alex Challoner.

Baroness Karren Brady, the vice-chairman of West Ham United and star of The Apprentice, today ruled herself out of the race. A

A shortlist of three candidates is due to be announced on June 4, followed by hustings. A winner is due to be revealed on July 19.