The sad loss of our lo­cal pubs

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

NEW fig­ures have re­vealed how many pubs have closed across Hilling­don, Eal­ing, Houn­slow and Har­row in the last decade.

With nearly a quar­ter of the UK’s pubs tak­ing their last or­ders since 2008, the Cam­paign for Real Ale (CAMRA) says com­mu­ni­ties suf­fer as small lo­cal pubs are lost.

The sit­u­a­tion has been re­flected across the cap­i­tal, where 16% of pubs and bars have closed in the last ten years. There are now 3,540 in the re­gion.

While the num­ber of es­tab­lish­ments has de­clined, there are more em­ploy­ees work­ing in pubs than there were ten years ago.

One in three pubs in Hilling­don has closed in the last years - leav­ing just 85 pubs and bars in the bor­ough.

That’s an es­ti­mated 35 fewer than in 2008, fig­ures from the Of­fice of Na­tional Statis­tics show.

One such pub waved good­bye to in that time is a 150-year-old his­toric Grade II listed pub in Hayes, The An­gel in Uxbridge Road, which was sold off in Oc­to­ber.

How­ever, in Hilling­don, more staff are em­ployed by pubs with the av­er­age wa­ter­ing hole em­ploy­ing nine staff in 2018, up from five in 2008.

De­spite this, the to­tal Hilling­don pub work­force re­mained steady at 1,250.

Far­ing slightly bet­ter off than it’s neigh­bour­ing bor­ough, Eal­ing saw one in six pubs close in the last decade.

There are now around 95 pubs and bars to chose from in Eal­ing, but that’s still around 20 fewer than in 2008.

Back in 2012, reg­u­lars mourned the loss of the Red Lion pub in Green­ford Broad­way, with the “poor eco­nomic cli­mate” to blame.

The num­ber of staff the av­er­age pub em­ploys in Eal­ing has re­mained the same at six, de­spite the clo­sures.

Along­side this, the to­tal Eal­ing pub work­force re­mained steady at 1,000.

A quar­ter of all of Houn­slow’s pubs closed their doors since 2008.

There are now around 75 pubs and bars in Houn­slow, an es­ti­mated 25 fewer than in 2008, fig­ures from the Of­fice of Na­tional show.

Although many will miss the likes of The Duke of Welling­ton, The Ris­ing Sun and The Jolly Gar­den­ers, this Isle­worth pub gained ‘As­set of Com­mu­nity Value sta­tus’.

And the num­ber of peo­ple work­ing in pubs has al­most dou­bled, with the av­er­age pub em­ploy­ing nine staff in 2018, up from five in 2008.

Along­side this, there has been a rise of 14% in the to­tal Houn­slow pub work­force, to 800 this year. Statis­tics

There just 50 pubs and bars now left across the bor­ough of Har­row, af­ter one in every six shut up shop over the last 10 years.

In fact, more pubs are clos­ing down in Har­row than in most other parts of the coun­try.

The ONS’s “Eco­nom­ics of Ale” re­port shows that there are 11,000 fewer pubs and bars na­tion­wide than be­fore the 2008 re­ces­sion.

But the turnover of the pub in­dus­try has re­mained strong, as larger chains fo­cus on big­ger bars at the ex­pense of smaller pubs.

In 2008, the av­er­age pub in the UK em­ployed five peo­ple. Now, the fig­ure stands at eight.

The re­port sug­gests this may be be­cause sur­viv­ing pubs have moved onto of­fer­ing more labour-in­ten­sive ser­vices such as food or ac­com­mo­da­tion.

CAMRA has called for re­form to busi­ness rates and cuts in beer duty to help tackle the loss of pubs.

It also wants a full re­view of the Pubs Code, which gov­erns the re­la­tion­ship be­tween firms who own 500 or more pubs and their ten­ants.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion’s chief cam­paigns and com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer, Tom Stainer, said: “These shock­ing new fig­ures show the huge loss that has been felt by com­mu­ni­ties up and down the coun­try as beloved lo­cals have closed down.

“By fo­cus­ing on the sta­bil­ity of turnover from pubs and bars since the re­ces­sion this study fails to mea­sure the loss of the ben­e­fits that lo­cal pubs bring to their com­mu­ni­ties.

“Pubs play a unique role in of­fer­ing a so­cial en­vi­ron­ment to en­joy a drink with friends, they help com­bat iso­la­tion and lone­li­ness and help peo­ple feel con­nected to their com­mu­nity.

“With a quar­ter of pubs clos­ing in the last decade, we need the Govern­ment to act now to save our pubs from ex­tinc­tion.”

The Chiltern View pub in Uxbridge, pic­tured in 2012

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