Monday, 6 April 2009

Cask Ale Week Kicks Off Pub Debate

Cllr Glenn Goodall marks 'National Beer Day' to advertise several of his favorite local pubs.

In recent times the pub industry has looked to be under increasing pressure as reports that 39 pubs are closing every week have hit the headlines.

But a coordinated campaign by the industry is helping them fight back. Over 200 MPs signed and supported a cross-party motion proposed by LibDem Colchester MP Bob Russell to 'save the pub' in Parliament today.

The British Beer and Pub Association is calling for a 5-point plan to be put into place. This includes:
- axing plans to increase beer tax further
- enforcing existing laws to deal firmly with irresponsible drinkers and premises - not to create new laws
- ending the irresponsible promotion of alcohol in supermarkets, pubs and elsewhere
- trusting responsible adults to make informed choices about what they drink, not punish them for the actions of an irresponsible minority
- supporting the British pub as a vital part of social life in local communities.

The Publican has published a very informative interview with LibDem leader Nick Clegg on the problems facing pubs, while ambitious local Conservative candidate Alok Sharma has supported the move as he hopes to take his petition "to every pub in the constituency".

Labour candidate Anneliese Dodds is noted for her consistently anti-alcohol stance.

Meanwhile Elizabeth Thomas considers how the pub is romaticised as part of a changing social landscape.

Matt Brady is more optimistic - arguing that "pubs are an important part of our national culture," he suggests popular pubs like The Kennet Arms will be always be hubs of local community while The Lamb in Satwell will adapt to survive - in this case under new management with a new wine list and a renewed emphasis on real ale.

Elsewhere Redlands LibDems recently explained some of the social problems facing communities as the King's Tavern license came up for review.

Oranjepan says:
It's tough balancing the interests of people and finance - I'll have a half!

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