Star Opinion: Pubs are real local assets

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It is good news that local pubs are being listed as community assets, but more thought needs to go into current rules that allow the building’s usage to change too easily.

Camra – The Campaign for Real Ale – said 31 pubs a week are closing across the country and the scheme of listing your pub as a community asset is ‘undermined’ by rules that mean pubs can be converted into shops by a simple change of consent, rather than through a planning application.

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Pubs have been at the heart of our communities for centuries. The ‘local’ is one of the things that Britain is famous for.

But do people still need or want them to survive?

The fact that so many are closing is a combination of drinks being expensive – comparative to supermarkets – because of a variety of reasons and the changing social habits of people. At the current rate of closure there is a real danger of more and more communities being left without a local pub.

Changing the rules to make it harder for pubs to be converted will be one way to ensure their longevity.

But there are other things that we can do too.

A pint or another beverage of your choice in your local this Christmas is a good place to start.