Joining bid to save our pubs

Sir,

It’s time this Government took action to save The Great British Pub.

UKIP is the first political party to pledge support to British Pub Week, which starts on Friday, October 28, and this week we challenged community pubs minister Bob Neill on the smoking ban, beer duty and supermarket prices.

I, like many others, have become increasingly concerned at latest figures which have cast gloom on the pub trade in Britain.

The survey by Jones Lang LaSalle revealed 45 per cent of licensees reported a fall in sales in the last year with 25 pubs closing every week. This is truly shocking – pubs are not simply places to drink – they are integral to the local communities they serve.

We desperately need to look at pricing structures to allow pubs to compete with supermarkets and we are calling for a fairer balance.

We also want to look at the smoking ban. In 2009, 2,365 pubs closed across the country which led to the loss of more than 10,000 jobs in local communities, in turn costing the Government an extra £1.53m a week in jobseekers allowance.

It’s about time the Government looked again at the smoking ban and pledged its support to publicans up and down the land – before we lose even more of our heritage.

Derek Clark

UKIP MEP for

Nottinghamshire