Town’s MP backs plans to save pubs

MP for Thame John Howell brings you his views in a monthly Thame Gazette column
MP for Thame John Howell brings you his views in a monthly Thame Gazette column

THAME’S MP, John Howell, has enthusiastically backed a government review intended to help local pubs.

On August 2, the government launched a review of restrictive covenants – a legal clause that can be used to prevent community pubs reopening as public houses following a sale.

In the five years between 2004 and 2009, 572 pubs are believed to have been permanently lost following a sale with a restrictive covenant, potentially depriving thousands of regulars of an important community asset.

At the end of July John met some of the town’s publicans in the Cross Keys to discuss the problems faced by pubs and how these might be addressed.

He said: “Pubs are hubs of community life, as important to the local social scene as they are to the local economy. That I think has been a very clear message from the Standard’s Drink Local campaign. But time is being called at too many of our ‘locals’, depriving people of treasured places to get together in the community.

“We are putting the people back in charge, giving them the power to step in and save their much-loved community assets. By reviewing this restrictive red tape we will enable people to use their collective powers to ensure that their locals remain local and continue to thrive at the heart of every community.”