The Labour Party has called for more to be done to save local pubs in North Norfolk, and has called on the government to act more quickly to introduce a statutory code to protect landlords from exploitation at the hands of large companies.
Last year Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg posed for photographs in North Norfolk promising to introduce legislation to protect pubs. However a year later the LibDem/Tory plans have failed to materialise. The delay in legislating was criticised by the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee in Parliament.
North Norfolk Labour Party has said that our local pubs act as an important community facility for many villages in the constituency, and there have been passionate pleas made at planning meetings for more to be done to save them. In 2013 Holt saw the closure of the Railway Tavern – the last traditional pub in the town – while there were threats to again close Hempstead’s Hare and Hounds.
A vote in the House of Commons calling for swifter action was voted down by government MPs in January.
Denise Burke, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for North Norfolk, said:
“A year ago Norman Lamb was joined by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, promising to take action over the pub companies that are sucking the lifeblood out of our local public houses. A year later they have failed to bring in the statutory code that CAMRA, business organisations, and Labour have been calling for.
During this time more and more pub companies are squeezing the profits of publicans with expensive rents and high beer prices. Many landlords are receiving less than minimum wage as a result and they are struggling to make a living.
We want to see action from the government much quicker because right now an average of 26 pubs are being lost across the country every week.”