'Save our pubs' cry grows in UK

Beer sales at pubs are way down, and several of the traditional drinking spots close each day in the United Kingdom.

There have been sporadic "Save our pubs" meetings and calls for help in the national press, but they haven't created quite the groundswell Bob Russell wants to see.

The Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament (MP) has made a parliamentary motion calling on the government to adopt a five-point plan to save the institution of the British pub.

Traditional public houses are being "unfairly priced out of the market while supermarkets offer cheap deals without the level of restrictions and responsibilities required" by licencees of pubs, Russell said in a statement.

He's not alone in the move. A total of 202 MPs backed the motion which came at the start of National Cask Ale Week.

Also, TV news readers Melanie Sykes and Oz Clarke have suppported a call by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the Independent Family Brewers of Britain (IFBB) for a declaration of a National Beer Day.

Russell noted in his statement that five pubs close down in the UK every day, and beer sales in pubs at their lowest level for nearly 40 years. He said further tax increases are planned that "will place traditional public houses at even greater risk of closing down".

The five-point plan by the British Beer and Pub Association is:

• Cut plans to increase beer tax.

• Enforce existing laws, rather than creating new ones, to deal firmly with irresponsible drinkers and premises.

• End irresponsible promotion of alcohol in supermarkets, pubs and elsewhere.

• Trust responsible adults to make informed choices about what they drink rather than punishing them for the actions of an irresponsible minority.

• Support the British pub as a vital part of social life in local communities.
CAMRA: Campaign for Real Ale
Save the Great British Pub
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