Sunday, 12 April 2015

Raising a glass to a fairer deal for pubs and drinkers

Pubs have been at the heart of local communities for centuries, as places where people can meet and relax. In recent years they have been under threat from developers and supermarkets selling alcohol as a loss leader.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has stood up for the rights of small brewers, publicans and responsible drinkers for forty years. Earlier this year they published a manifesto for pubs which they asked candidates at the general election to support.

The manifesto calls for politicians to support well run community pubs; help to promote Britain’s 1300 small breweries and to represent pub goers and beer drinkers. It also calls for pub companies to treat licences fairly, protection for pubs under the planning laws and an end to short measures.

The Green Party supports responsible drinking and recognises the role played by well -run community pubs in promoting it, more than fifty Green candidates have pledged to support the CAMRA manifesto, including Stoke North candidate Sean Adam.

Mr Adam said: "One of the great aspects of brewing industry is the fantastic support CAMRA gives out micro-brewery industry, a growth industry not only here in North Staffordshire but throughout the UK. Our selection of real ales is at it’s greatest with more publicans taking on ales from these local brewers."

The Green Party has in its manifesto a number of policies that would benefit community pubs and small brewers, these include:

Keeping corporation tax for small businesses at 20% and raising the threshold for small business tax relief from £12,000 to £15,000 and making it easier for small businesses to get access to finance by investing £2 billion in setting up a network of mutually owned community banks.

The party would also put control over planning issues back into the hands of local authorities by repealing the National Policy Planning Framework and legislation to prevent change of use, a policy that would help to protect small shops and community pubs.

A Green Party spokesperson said ‘we support responsible drinking and recognise that community run pubs catering for a wide age range of customers are the best place to promote it. We also recognise that small breweries are a vital part of many local economies providing jobs and helping to make the way we produce our food and drink more locally focussed, seasonal and sustainable. That is why we are happy to back CAMRA in their campaign for a fair deal for brewers, publicans and beer drinkers.’

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