Tag Archives: keighley

Opinion: Pubs matter so why not protect them in planning law?

Today has seen the third House of Commons debate on pubs in less than three months: rather like the proverbial London Bus. But with the rate of pub closures in the UK still running at 29 a week, a marginal decline from 31 a year ago, communities’ cries for help have been coming along rather faster.  There is a growing issue with pubs being converted to supermarkets in particular.  With long-awaited reform of the industry grinding its way through the House of Lords (where the resistance of Tory peer and former pubco director Lord Hodgson, sometimes rather distasteful, is thankfully proving futile), the focus is now on planning.

The Coalition has for the first time recognised pubs as community assets in national planning law, albeit weakly, and has introduced the Assets of Community Value process which is starting to let a few communities buy their pubs.  A fortnight ago, Lib Dem Minister Stephen Williams announced some additional protection for communities who get pubs listed as an ACV by removing permitted development rights.  But an amendment by Conservative Charlotte Leslie MP, backed by Lib Dem Pub Champion Greg Mulholland, narrowly failed to remove the much-exploited loophole that allows pubcos to sell or lease pubs to Tesco (formerly) and the Co-Op (principally at present) for supermarket conversion that sees often successful pubs close forever.  That amendment reflected Lib Dem policy.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 28 Comments

Gareth Epps to stand for Liberal Democrats against Community Pubs minister at the General Election

Gareth EppsLong standing Liberal Democrat, Glee Club MC, CAMRA member and anti-pubco campaigner Gareth Epps has been selected to fight the seat of Keighley in Yorkshire at May’s General Election. Gareth has sought out this seat as the current incumbent is the community pubs minister Kris Hopkins. He highlighted all the reasons why he was, shall we say, dissatisfied with Hopkins’ performance in a blog post n November:

Mr Hopkins has been given evidence by among others CAMRA locally and nationally that the Article 4 system is not working. The farcical scenes at Wokingham Council where under legal threat from Tesco, officers asked councillors to rescind an Article 4 they had only just granted, illustrate this perfectly. He is siding with the pubcos who are flogging pubs like those in Cuckfield and Earley, and ignoring communities.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 14 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 13th Dec - 8:14am
    @James Pugh Nice one, Mr Pugh. I think that you, like me, may be getting a little uncomfortable with some of the stances taken on...
  • User AvatarGraham Jeffs 13th Dec - 8:12am
    I assume you haven't published my comments because they are critical of HQ. How sad is that?
  • User AvatarJonathan Linin 13th Dec - 8:05am
    CALM DOWN. deep breaths everybody. Everyone is disappointed, probably sick with worry but we need to reflect. There is plenty of time. I would urge...
  • User AvatarMichael 1 13th Dec - 7:52am
    We had the correct strategy up until the autumn. We needed to expand it in August as Boris did. One of Lynton Crosby's favourite sayings...
  • User AvatarDan 13th Dec - 7:47am
    This is bitter, I admit I voted for a independent after the scrap article 50 and left the party. So I will be coming back....
  • User AvatarJames Pugh 13th Dec - 7:40am
    Im waiting for the person to eagerly say that this is a superb result for the Lib Dems because now the majority of Lib Dem...
Tue 7th Jan 2020