Communities which club together to buy a pub, which faces permanent closure are to be applauded.

It is not easy to do and requires commitment, organisation and good advice. But it can be done (see page 7).

The Plunkett Foundation has done much to support communities wanting to save their local. Pubs are a force for good. They bring people together, support the economy, raise money for charity and of course most sell cask ale.

There are many reasons why pubs face closure. But increasingly, there are reports of pubs closing because of the burden of business rates. No doubt, some of these will be bought and run by their community.

However, community ownership, as good as it is, doesn’t change an underlying problem pubs face. Business rates are too high.

It is time the Government took the issue seriously and took the steps needed to reform business rates.

If the Government does not do something to fix our defective rates system, pubs will close. In its manifesto, the Government promised a review of business rates. It is a pledge it should keep.

CAMRA is calling for a root and branch review of the business rates system and the introduction of one which treats pubs more fairly.

For many years, CAMRA has been calling for the rates system to be amended. Now, a tipping point has been reached and if rates continue to rise more good pubs will shut and communities will lose something vital.

It is important that pubs do not close – as the continuation of viable neighbourhood businesses enhances the overall sustainability of a wider community.

If we want cask beer to thrive then we need pubs to prosper. If we want pubs to prosper then we need the Government to reform the rates system.

Join the Discourse

Want to discuss this article? Join in on Discourse