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Romford MP signs up to national campaign calling for safe reopening of pubs

Andrew Rosindell is supporting the nationwide campaign

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell has signed up to a national campaign calling for pubs to be able to trade safely again.

The UnlockInn campaign, led by the Countryside Alliance, aims to save Britain’s pubs, after fears many will not survive unless they can open by Easter.

A recent survey of pub landlords found six in ten believe they will go out of business if lockdown restrictions are not sufficiently lifted until the summer.

The campaign is putting forward five asks for the government to consider for the leaving lockdown roadmap:

1. Allow pubs to serve alcohol with takeaways as soon as possible. 
2. Scrap the ‘substantial meal’ requirement, when pubs open again.
3. If pubs are forced to remain closed into the Summer months, provide them with increased financial support. 
4. Offer a practical road map for pubs and the hospitality industry at large to help them prepare for when they can resume trading again.
5. Extend VAT at 5%, while ensuring rates are cut by 50 percent for the same length of time to help pubs get through the much-needed economic recovery.

The survey found that 92 per cent of landlords want to scrap the rule that customers must order a substantial meal to be allowed to buy a drink when pubs reopen.

Respondents indicated that this requirement had an overall adverse effect on customer footfall.

The impact was underlined with 57 per cent reporting that regulars stopped coming to their pubs when the rule was in place and 82 per cent saw a reduction in overall footfall.

The majority of landlords had spent between £1,000-5,000 on installing features designed to comply with and aid COVID-19 safety guidance: including outdoor heaters, hand sanitising stations and personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff. 

The “#UnlockInn – Save the Great British Pub campaign”, on social media, has 750 patrons backing it along with MPs.

Mr Rosindell said: “Pubs are at the heart of communities in towns like Romford as well as villages and hamlets across our country.

“While we must be cautious in our approach, it is clear they need to be trading again and allowed to at least sell takeaway alcoholic beverages and without unnecessary rules like the substantial meal requirement.”

A spokesman for the Countryside Alliance added: “Among the societal benefits, the pub trade is a very important employer in many fragile, local economies.

“These five asks are essential if we are to see these fine institutions standing for future generations to enjoy.”

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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