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Monday, 19 April 2010

Lobbying MPs on behalf of pub goers

CAMRA has been asking MPs and Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPCs) to support its 'Beer Drinkers and Pub Goers Charter'.  So far, more than 500 MPs and PPCs have signed, many as a result of lobbying by ordinary constituents, which is encouraging. If you want to lobby your candidates, a simple way is to click here (you don't have to be a CAMRA member). This is a summary of the Charter:  
  • Promote the interests of Britain's pub goers.
  • Champion well-run community pubs.
  • Rebalance alcohol taxation to support beer and pubs.
  • Reform the beer tie to deliver a fair deal for consumers, including allowing local brewers to sell their beers to local pubs.
  • Support the role of well-run pubs as solutions to alcohol misuse.
On the same webpage there is a poll asking "What do you think is the most significant reason that over 39 pubs are closing every week in the UK?" You can vote on that too if you wish. The results so far are:
  • The Low Price of Alcohol in Supermarkets 38.56%
  • Beer Tax 26.69%
  • The Beer Tie 17.37%
  • The Recession 9.32%
  • The Smoking Ban 5.93% 
  • Increased public focus on the health issues surrounding excessive alcohol consumption 2.12%
It's interesting that fewer than 6% blame the smoking ban. Although I don't agree with those who think it's the main cause of pub closures, I would have expected a higher figure.

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