Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Save the Great British Pub!!

The post today reports that, 'MPs will today demand urgent action to "save the Great British Pub" after alarming figures revealed 48 have been lost across the Bristol region in just four years. A panel of five government ministers, including Bristol South MP Dawn Primarolo, will be grilled on why more and more pubs are being forced out of business, in a growing crisis many are comparing to the closure of local post offices.' This sparked a lively online discussion, including this comment:

'There are far too many pubs that have been slow on the uptake in changing their business model. Smoking is not going to come back to pubs so publicans and punters have to get used to it. Get in the local ales, get in good European lagers, chuck out mass produced lagers, get in the food (doesn’t have to be fancy bistro style - a good ole pie goes down a long way). If your pub is good, reasonably priced and welcoming, entertaining (bands, free juke box etc) those that have to smoke will be happy to smoke outside (get them an awning so they are dry). '

This is spot on from Steve.

Great report on the Daily Politics show today involving actor and publican Neil Morrissey,
saying that 39 pubs per week are now closing in the UK. Pubs should be supported and developed as community focal points. They can be a great leveller, with all sorts of people as customers.

In Knowle and the surrounding area we've lost: The Talbot; The Red Lion; The Venture Inn; The Happy Cocks; The Glasscutter...and others are struggling. Tesco want to convert The Friendship Inn into a Tesco Express, though we've managed to delay a planning decision and get councillors to come and look at the site before deciding whether to give permission for the pub garden to become a car park. There does not seem to be any thinking or planning ahead from either council or govt to maintain, improve and diversify local pubs even though it would contribute very well to community building.

Pubs are an important part of the community along with shops, banks, post offices etc and so councils and govt have a key role to play, especially in strengthening neighbourhoods through coordinating and encouraging community involvement and working with businesses so that pubs adapt/change their to suit demand.

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