The sad loss of our local pubs
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.
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
Police cordoned off the area on Monday last week