Many people have written to me with their concerns about community pubs and the difficulties that local pubs are currently facing, and the related CAMRA campaign.
This is an important issue. Pubs are meeting places, centres of our community and part of our heritage. They also make an important contribution to our economy, providing £13 billion in tax revenue to fund our public services and supporting nearly 1 million jobs. I therefore agree that it is important that we act to protect our pubs and ensure that communities have a say over their future.
In December 2016, I supported an amendment to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill that would have required the proposed demolition or change of use of a pub to be subject to planning permission. This would have ensured that communities had a say over what happened to their local pub. Unfortunately, this amendment was defeated. The reason I supported it is because having to go through the Asset of Community Value route to save pubs under threat is time-consuming.
If elected this June, Labour is committed to restoring to local communities the powers they need to protect treasured institutions like local pubs and so help the cause of real ale.
Parliamentary Candidate for Leeds Central