The Labour hopeful says he’ll make the Night Tube a priority.
Sadiq Khan has vowed to address London’s declining nightlife if elected mayor. In an interview with Dazed following the news of Dance Tunnel’s impending closure, the Labour candidate acknowledged the difficulties faced by the city’s small venues.
Khan proposes to protect bars and clubs from being closed down over noise complaints by introducing the “agent of change” principle, which would place the cost of soundproofing on housing developers rather than venues. “This is a simple measure but will have a massive effect on smaller, independent bars and clubs who often aren’t able to afford the costs involved,” he said.
He also promised to speed up the city’s long hoped-for 24-hour Tube service, criticising Boris Johnson’s failure to introduce the late-night service when promised. Union leaders finally reached a deal on the scheme last month.
“We have waited too long for the promises made by the previous Mayor to become a reality,” he said, “but ensuring it is up and running as quickly as possible once I am in City Hall will be invaluable in helping to save London’s night life.”
He pointed to Amsterdam’s successful approach to uniting businesses, residents and local authorities to support the night-time economy, proposing to appoint a ‘Night Czar’ who would be a “strong voice of support in City Hall” for clubs and venues.
“I don’t want young and creative Londoners abandoning our city to head to Amsterdam, to Berlin, to Prague where clubs are supported and allowed to flourish,” he said. “I want them to be able to celebrate what they love in the city that they love, rather than punish them or force their activities underground or abroad. That is why, if elected London Mayor, I will address these problems head on.”
The UK has lost almost half of its nightclubs in the past 10 years, with noise complaints and licensing rules contributing to the decline.