Press releases > Proud of Pubs Week
 Roger Gale celebrates Britain`s "Proud of Pubs" week.  July 18th 2009
Bay/North Thanet MP Roger Gale has this week again supported the UK "Proud of Pubs" week, this time with Shepherd Neame`s hostelry "The Prince of Wales" in Mortimer Street, Herne Bay.

"Proud of Pubs" week is promoted to draw attention to the positive contribution that pubs make to the community and also to highlight problems that are leading to the closure of far too many public houses nationwide.

Speaking at the Prince of Wales Roger said:

"Landlord Graham Dash has a traditional British pub with wonderful original Victorian features and selling well kept draught and other beers as well as, of course, spirits and wines. 

The Bay`s MP, Roger Gale, celebrates Britain`s "Proud of Pubs" week at the Prince of Wales pub in Mortimer Street, Herne Bay, with landlord Graham Dash and Bart Nelson of Shepherd Neame
It is exactly the kind of establishment that overseas visitors to Britain want and expect to see when they come to this country and the survival of this kind of establishment is worth millions to our inbound tourist trade.

Pubs employ getting on for a million people in the UK - although sadly that number is falling due to closures - and they also make a huge contribution to community life. Eight out of ten adults describe themselves when asked as "pub goers" The average pub raises about two thousand pounds for charities in the course of the year and at the All Party Beer Group annual awards ceremony which I attended in Westminster earlier in the week one of the awards went to a publican and his wife who had raised ten times that amount!

Sadly, the industry does have its problems.  The inflexibility of the ban on smoking, which I opposed at the time, has driven pub users out onto the streets for their cigarettes and to a consequent rise in the level of complaints from neighbours: The rigor of the ban was unnecessarily restrictive and, I believe, short sighted in its puritan imposition.

The tax on beer is disproportionate and it is high time that Government and Europe sought to differentiate between the tax on draught beer consumed in the controlled and sociable environment of a public house and the canned product bought at knock-down prices from supermarkets and all too often consumed by young people anti-socially on the streets of Towns like Herne Bay and Margate. This is a problem that can and should be resolved immediately on a revenue-neutral basis.

The credit crunch has also hit beer sales in pubs and clubs and again driven people in the direction of cheap canned drinks bought for home consumption and that hardly assists the pub trade.

We have to remember that as with the case of the village shop and the village post office it's a case of "use it or lose it".  Too many pieces of our national heritage are being allowed to go to the wall and once they are gone they will never be replaced."

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