"I have been listening to and understand local people and businesses' concerns about the new licensing policy. I share many of them."
Lamé has been the object of much frustration in the week since the unpopular vote, with many questioning how she fought against this new policy. In a statement provided to NME, Lamé says she is "optimistic about finding a way forward for Hackney's night life." She discusses the new licensing policy below, and you can read the full statement in NME's report.
Licensing policy is, by law, a matter for local authorities. Neither I nor the Mayor have the power to tell local authorities what to do or not to do on licensing issues. However, my role is to help get everyone to sit around the table, talking together, to represent the needs of the night-time economy in those conversations, and ultimately to find a solution that works for everyone. I've used this convening power on a number of different issues from Croydon to Waltham Forest, Newham to Kingston—and it really can work.
Shoreditch and Dalston's night-time economy are the envy of the world. I know both Hackney Council and its businesses and residents want to protect its vibrancy, while making sure it works for those who live in the area.
I have been listening to and understand local people and businesses' concerns about the new licensing policy. I share many of them.
That's why I have asked Hackney for an urgent meeting to see if it is possible to work out a solution that protects the local community whilst making sure London doesn’t go backwards in its progress towards becoming a truly 24-hour city. I'm sure there is a positive way forward.
Hackney mayor Philip Glanville tweeted that Lamé has been "consulted throughout the process" on July 19th.
Dan Beaumont, owner of Dalston Superstore and other Hackney venues, wrote in an op-ed on Resident Advisor that anger directed at Lamé is misguided. "The limitations of the GLA's Night Czar role have been exposed by this whole mess. Amy Lamé was in communication with the Hackney Council throughout the consultation process, but she has no statutory power to influence the direction they decide to take. The Licensing Act of 2003 gives her opinion no weight on licensing policy, and I can't imagine anyone is more frustrated by this than she is. Personal attacks on the Night Czar achieve nothing."
We Love Hackney member Jonathan Downey told RA: "The Council seem determined to stick with this disastrous decision and, although we welcome all support, Amy has next to no role to play in changing that. Resident power is what matters now and I am convinced that we will get the Council to see sense."
A protest against this new policy is being held on Friday, July 27th, at Hackney Town Hall.
RA has reached out to the Hackney Council and the Hackney mayor's office for comment. We will update this story when we hear back.