Drinkers urged to join web fight to save pubs

LATEST TO GO ... the former Allison Arms in Jarrow was demolished last week.
LATEST TO GO ... the former Allison Arms in Jarrow was demolished last week.

BEER drinkers in South Tyneside were today urged to go online to help save the community pub.

This follows latest figures from the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), showing that 300 pubs have closed across Britain in just the last six months, with eight in the Tyne and Wear area alone.

The campaign alert comes a week after the demolition of the long-established Allison Arms pub in Straker Street, Jarrow.

About 33,000 real ale fans have already signed a petition aimed at saving the great British community pub, which could put political pressure on the Coalition Government to debate pub closures and their detrimental effect on local communities.

David Brazier, South Tyneside-based regional director of Camra, said: “I would encourage anyone who enjoys real ale and going to their local pub to support Camra’s e-petition.

“While I believe the number of pub closures in South Tyneside and across Tyne and Wear has actually slowed down, that’s only because we have lost so many pubs over the last 10 years.

“Another problem is that, because of increases in beer duty, a pint now costs £3 nearly everywhere.

“But on the positive side, there has been a growth in micro breweries and more people are drinking real ale than ever before.”

Latest statistics reveal that a dozen pubs now close across Britain every week, with more than 300 community locals having permanently shut in just the last six months.

And Camra has warned that what it calls “crippling beer tax increases by the Government” continue to threaten the future of traditional pubs.

But Camra research shows that 73 per cent of regular pubgoers support a freeze in beer duty.

Mike Benner, Camra chief executive, said: “Whether situated in a small village, city high street, or on the edge of a housing estate, pubs are so central to our society that whole communities can grow around a particular pub.

“Unsustainable beer tax increases by the Government are ripping the heart out of community centres, but with more than 33,000 consumers having recently signed the beer tax e-petition, beer drinkers and pubgoers are actively voicing their discontent.

“Camra is now campaigning to secure 100,000 signatures, which would force Parliament to debate above inflation rises in beer duty.”

Beer fans can support the Camra e-petition at www.camra.org.uk/saveyourpint.

Twitter: @terrykelly16