Our pubs needs to get more help and encouragement

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Well done indeed for last Monday’s front-page story, on the rapid decline and closure of pubs in our area.

I’m really pleased that you went ‘big’ with this, as I too am concerned that we are losing community meeting places too easily.

Pubs are often the place where you get to chat with your near neighbours for the first time and a place where locals can socialise and develop a sense of belonging to the community.

Social habits are changing and the often heard comment of ‘use it or lose it’ is well founded, but I think that our pubs should get more help and encouragement to remain open for locals to have a drink and socialise.

It’s disturbing that closed pubs are able to reopen as a supermarket without having to apply for any change of use.

People in Beighton are concerned about the future of the Royal Oak pub.

In the original application there is a proposal to revamp the pub as a pub/restaurant, but locals fear it will be turned into a Tesco.

For several weeks now, workmen have been gutting the interior, enlarging the car park, but even now, nobody knows for certain what it is going to reopen as.

I hope your front-page story will be a wake-up call to those who want pubs to stay open.

We perhaps need to start listing our pubs as community assets, which will at least afford a six-month hold on the sale, giving time for locals to come up with a rescue plan.

Aubrey Hill

by email

On my journey into Town I have to pass that lovely old ex-pub the Earl of Arundel and Surrey, which has now been turned into flats.

The Earl was the only pub in Sheffield still with a pound-house in which stray pigs, sheep, cows, horses or goats could be kept until a fee had been paid by the owners of these naughty wayward animals.

Vin Malone