This week is British Pub Week, celebrating what used to be the focal point (and pint!) of our local area.
Many hostelries in our area have disappeared over the course of the last 20 years including such well known venues as The Chiltern View, The Cowley Brick (My first local),The Ram, The Anchor in West Drayton and, more recently, The Swan in West Drayton and the Heath Tavern in Hillingdon.
Over the last few years the pub industry has come under attack by both labour and Coalition Governments. Pubs have been closing at an alarming rate: at it’s peak, 52 per week. This trend has now slowed to a still unacceptable 25 pubs per week.
40,000 jobs have been lost already, and 10,000-15,000 more are going each year. The beer and pub sector sustains over 950,000 jobs in the UK. My new political home, UKIP, believes that pubs are vital to local communities and the country as a whole.
A Policy to Help our Pubs
* Scrap the alcohol duty escalator, which automatically raises prices 2% above inflation.
* Significantly reduce duty on real ales below 5% ABV (Alcohol by volume)
* Set VAT at 5% for the hospitality industry (Morning Advertiser’s Thrive on 5 campaign)
* Allow pubs to have separate, well ventilated smoking rooms if they wish (Remember the ‘saloon’ and public’ bars in pubs in the 70’s and 80’s?)
* Stop supermarkets selling alcohol at less than cost price (including duty)
* Return licensing responsibilities from council to magistrates for consistent licensing
* Reduce costs of licensing for live music and entertainment in pubs
* Review the restrictive contracts between pub companies and tenants
* Review planning laws to enable pubs to diversify as local shops, post offices etc.
If you wish to support your local pub, please visit www.savethepub.co.uk and sign the petition – Let’s stop pubs like The Cowley Brick (right) disappearing from our communities