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Save London's pubs!

By thirsty hack Ignatius Rake

Posted March 13, 2013
the true lovers knot is one of many London pubs left to rot
Under threat: Pubs in London need your love. (Check bottom for credit)

With the Great Wen's pubs closing at two a week, CAMRA will tonight stage a summit to help stop the rot.

Despite the fact that pub going remains one of the most popular leisure pursuit in London, with around 2m cheeky Cockney chappies and chappesses visiting the battle cruiser on a regular basis, new figures issued by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) reveal that last year the Big Smoke experienced a net loss of two rub-a-dubs a week.

As such, CAMRA, in conjunction with London Assembly Member Tom Copley, will this very evening (13/3/13) host a summit that, a press release reveals, will enable pub campaigners to meet with London councillors, MPs and Assembly Members in order to "help secure the future of one of the capital's biggest attractions – the Great British Pub".

"With property values being so high in London, and supermarkets and betting shop chains exploiting planning loopholes to expand their London presence, even profitable pubs face a serious threat to their future from developers," says CAMRA CEO Mike Benner.

"The good news is local councils do have powers to be the last line of defence in protecting pubs."

"Tonight’s summit will enable CAMRA to urge councils to use these powers by supporting communities to list pubs as Assets of Community Value, remove development rights to help prevent valued pubs being converted into supermarkets, betting shops and other uses and to ensure Local Plans contain pro-pub policies."

The new closure figures come at a time when 67% of pub goers within the Great Sprawler, as revealed by a recent CAMRA/TNS poll, agree that a well-run community pub is as important to community life as a post office, local shop or community centre.

"We need to protect London's pubs," Copley says.

"There are an ever decreasing number and too many are being sold off for flats or other uses."

"Good, well-run pubs are the heart and soul of so many town centres and communities across London."

"I'm delighted to be hosting this event with CAMRA, who do vital work supporting real ale pubs and breweries across the country."

"We are bringing together pub campaigners from across our city to come up with a plan to save the London pub."

"We are also showcasing some of the finest ales brewed in London."

"Local breweries not only deliver a range of fantastic drinks but also support jobs across our city and keep alive the skills for the future."

In addition to Benner, the key note speakers at the summit will include Tottenham MP David Lammy; Jonathan Wade, senior planning officer at Kensington and Chelsea Council; and Cllr Liam Curran, chair of Lewisham Council's Sustainable Community Scrutiny body.

See also Support Community Pubs Month! posted 25/2/13

Picture credit

Top and thumb: The now demolished True Lovers Knot pub in Northwood, North-West London by Nigel Cox.

For licensing information click the above link.

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