Save our pubs!

29 04 2010

The pub has been a familiar part of the landscape of Britain for generations, whether it is a country pub in a rural village or a town centre establishment standing proudly on a corner. In recent years this landscape has been changing and not for the better. In 2006 the rate of pub closures stood at just 2 pubs per week, this is still over 100 pubs a year that were closing their doors but this figure pales into obscurity compared to the most recent results from 2009. As of 2009 there were 52 pubs shutting each week thats a massive 2,377 pubs that are closing in just one year, accounting for approximately 24,000 jobs. This is a simply staggering number and even if the trend were to be reversed we would never see the same number of pubs re-open. To give my own personal example of the sheer scale of pub closures across the country, I have to walk the best part of a mile to get to my nearest pub; this isn’t a case of being picky or choosing to visit this particular spot, it is simply the closest pub to where I live. Now you could be forgiven for thinking that maybe I live in some idyllic rural village and this is simply due to being in a remote location. Unfortunately you couldn’t be more wrong; I am talking about East London and on my way to the pub (The Coppermill) I have to pass 6 pubs that have closed in recent years. It isn’t so long ago that each of these pubs were thriving establishments, now one of them is being turned into flats and the others are just empty, slowly decaying away. During this same period of time the number of branded pubs and cafe-style bars have increased at a rate of 2 per week, it was also found that pubs that had a strong food offering were less likely to face closure. This is all very well and good but not every pub in the country can suddenly transform itself over night into a trendy gastro pub or city centre bar, it is jut not possible. So what has caused this huge upturn in the number of pubs that are calling last orders for the final time? Well there are a number of issues that are affecting Britain’s pubs today. The recession has caused a large downturn in the number of people that are visiting pubs and it is also affecting the average spend of drinkers, regardless of where the pub might be. The smoking ban has also driven people away from pubs, particularly when coupled with the ridiculously low prices and bargains that the large supermarket chains are offering on alcohol, why would you stand outside in the rain to smoke when you could drink cheaper beer at home and smoke inside if you so wished. The ever increasingly tax on beer has also played a part with the increases every year since 2000, bringing us to a point where the tax on a pint of beer costing an average price of £2.70 is now 70 pence. The bottom line is that pubs are closing and will continue to close unless something is done about it. So what is there that you can do to try to stop pub closures? CAMRA are running and supporting a number of campaigns targeted at slowing and reversing the trend of pub closure, you can sign up to support one such campaign “Back the Pub” here. You can also lobby your local MP to see what they are doing in relation to this, if you need contact details for your local MP you can find them here you simply need to enter your post code in order to get the details you need. But the easiest and most rewarding thing to do is visit your local pub, there is no better support then taking a stroll to the pub and enjoying a pint. I’m not saying not to pick up a bargain at the shops or enjoy a drink at home but remember your local as well, you’ll miss it when it is gone.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

One response

30 04 2010
Tweets that mention Save our pubs! « "And now for something completely different…" -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tom Webster. Tom Webster said: Save our pubs!: http://wp.me/pR2pD-3g […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: