Is Brighton’s night-time economy tarnishing the city’s brand?

That was the motion debated at a Brighton Hove Chamber of Commerce event.

More than 100 Chamber members and guests debated the motion.

The event, supported by The Argus, attracted one of the largest ever audiences for a Chamber debate.

Andy Winter, chief executive of the Brighton Housing Trust, supported the motion and described the human cost of the late night economy.

He said Brighton Festival and the Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Festival were valuable but that problems were caused by some supermarkets selling cheap alcohol and also by ‘party houses’.

He said: “Party houses are not regulated like hotels, so they will attract groups who spend less in the city and more in supermarkets.

“I avoid going into the city centre at the weekend so my spend is denied to restaurants and pubs who would otherwise get it.

“If you live in the wrong part of the city, night-time partygoers can turn your life into a living hell.”

Party houses

Crime reduction But Nigel Liddell, manager of the Brighton and Hove Business Crime Reduction Partnership, denied the city is full of stag and hen parties.

He said: “Crime reduced 22% last year and we expect the figure to fall because we have a well organised night-time economy.”

Justin Manning, general manager of Queen’s Hotel, said the council’s planning system allowed too many late night off licences and claimed that the impact of granting licences was not thoughtout.

But he was criticised for calling self-catering guest houses ‘party houses’.

Michelle Stonehill, manager at Brighton Holiday Homes, said: “They are not party houses. Please don’t call them that because it is very damaging.

“Our customers are in their 30s and 40s. They are civilised people. We should be proud of our reputation as a place that people love to visit.”

The motion was defeated by a large majority.

Don’t miss Your Business on Tuesday for more pictures and reaction from the debate.

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