The Lib Dem Pub Manifesto

Did you know that there was a “Lib Dem Pub Manifesto”? Um, we didn’t know it either at onlinefocus.

However Brendan D’Cruz , our parliamentary candidate for Castle Point, has been getting involved with pub issues. In fact he’s been told by CAMRA – the Campaign for Real Ale- that he’s one of over 620 election candidates who have signed up to CAMRA?s campaign.

Anyway , the Lib Dem policies for pubs include:

Reform of the beer tie

? Making small business rate relief automatic

? Extending rate relief to all pubs which act as centres of community life

? Banning below cost selling and supporting minimum pricing

? Reviewing the beer duty system and the beer duty escalator

? Reform of planning law including banning restrictive covenants

these are good issues to get involved with, because pubs are an important part of many Essex communities – just like post offices and some other small businesses.

Meanwhile Brendan has been meeting with the Federation of Small Business (Essex) this week:

brendan-dcruz-castle-point-liberal-democrat-manifesto-briefing-270410-8

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  • How does this scheme help cut down on a. binge drinking and the scenes in High Streets on weekends
    b. the problem of alcoholism which is worse in its effects across Britain than smoking but is largely ignored or over looked
    c. the strain on the health service due to alcohol

  • Could we please have some clarification on what this all means?

    It’s hard to ascertain from this article whether this scheme would increase alcohol intake, specially amongst teenagers, or is trying to put in place some degree of control on this ever-increasing problem.

  • Good questions.

    As far as I can see, the aim is to encourage community pubs especially village pubs to survive eg by making necessary to get planning permission to turn a pub into a cafe and to try to discourage binge drinking , for example by stopping alcohol being sold below cost price as a loss leader (either in supermarkets or in pubs)

    The Lib Dem Pub Manifesto is at http://www.camra.org.uk/media/attachments/319265/LibDemPubsManifesto_2010.pdf

    It begins as follows:

    Introduction

    The British pub is an important part of this country’s history and heritage. Pubs are more
    than just businesses; they are often the hub of the community as a focus for social, sporting
    and charitable activity. Pubs are a place for people to mix socially and so play an invaluable
    role in strengthening our communities and bringing people together.
    The pub is crucial to our heritage, history and culture. Pubs sit at the heart of the British
    tourism industry with tourists and visitors to Britain making 13.2 million visits to our pubs
    each year.i The pub trade as a whole is also a major national industry which employs
    540,000 people directly and 380,000 in associated trades.ii The pub also provides a sociable
    and controlled drinking environment which is therefore important in terms of encouraging
    responsible drinking.
    Pubs up and down the country are being closed, for a variety of reasons, often when they
    don’t need to close, and more must be done to address this. Despite the evident decline in
    the pub industry the Labour Government has neglected to tackle these issues. We propose
    a series of measures to help reverse the trend and to support and preserve the Great British
    pub.

    1. Minimum Pricing
    The average price of a pint of beer sold in a pub is around £2.70.iii Supermarket deals
    undercut these prices with offers such as eight 275ml cans of beer for £4. This has caused a
    shift in alcohol consumption away from the controlled pub environment towards drinking at
    home or on the streets. We support a ban on below-cost selling, and are in favour of the
    principle of minimum pricing, subject to detailed work to establish how it could be
    used in tackling problems of irresponsible drinking.

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