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Your pub needs you! – Rallying cry for drinkers to visit local boozers to show support for pubs under threat

Southwark drinkers should get out and visit local boozers, urges Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP Neil Coyle, to help show support for pubs under threat by property developers.

The call to pop into a pub comes after local residents, MP Neil and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) staged a pub crawl last weekend from The China Hall in Rotherhithe to the Gladstone Arms in Borough, to raise awareness of the risks pubs face.

Up in Arms - drinkers raise a toast to the Glad
Up in Arms – drinkers raise a toast to the Glad

As Wandsworth Council slapped Article Four Directions on 120 pubs, making it harder for landowners to convert them into residential buildings, calls are being made for something similar to be done in Southwark.

MP Neil said: “Southwark Council should consider listing all pubs on an individual basis and ensure all well-run establishments are able to be best protected.”

“Nip into your local. Find out if they’re listed. Enjoy a drink. If you’re worried about a pub, please let me know and I’ll look into it,” he added.

The weekend pub crawl featured The China Hall as the start to raise support for it become an Asset of Community Value (ACV), after two previous unsuccessful applications, as fears grow over whether its lease will be renewed in the near future.

The pub crawl kicks off at The China Hall
The pub crawl kicks off at The China Hall

The crawl ended at the Glad, already an ACV, to show support for the popular backstreet pub, which is owned by a property company that previously applied for planning permission to turn it into flats.

Steve Silcock, chair of the South East London branch of CAMRA, said: “For too long now pubs have been seen as an easy target by property developers, exacerbated in London by high residential property values, and resulting in popular and successful pubs being forced to close.”

Councillor Mark Williams, Southwark Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and New Homes, said: “We know how much our pubs mean to people and the contribution they make to the historic character, economy and vibrancy of our borough, which is why we do all we can to protect them.

“We were the first council to make a local pub an Asset of Community Value, something we have now done for several historic pubs in the borough including The Glad, Elephant and Castle, Thomas A’Beckett and our first ACV at the Ivy House.

“We are already looking at how we can use Article Four in the way Wandsworth have to place an extra layer of protection for our local pubs and we will make an announcement soon.”

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