London – VIJAY SHAH via ELLENA CRUSE and Newham Recorder
In a trend replicated across much of the United Kingdom, large numbers of public houses, licenced establishments selling alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. have closed down in the east London borough of Newham, according to figures published in an article from local newspaper, the Newham Recorder. Figures made available by the Inter-Departmental Business Register, a central government database of businesses, state that between the years 2001 to 2017, fifty-two per cent of the borough’s pubs have closed down, leading to a decline in community activities and the appearance of homogenised high streets.
Seventeen years ago, Newham had 105 pubs operating within its territory. As of last year, this number has shrunk down to only fifty, the second highest decline in London, and a development which has troubled the London mayor, Sadiq Khan. Mayor Khan urged central and local governments, including borough councils, and the pub industry to get together to stop the ongoing decline in pubs, many of which have been forced out of business by rising rents and business taxes, alongside a change in consumer drinking habits and the increasing cost of drinking and eating out at pubs. A nationwide smoking ban introduced in 2007 has also been blamed by many in the industry
The Mayor told the Recorder: “The traditional London pub has been at the heart of London’s communities for hundreds of years, but sadly they continue to face a long-term decline in numbers,’
‘As mayor, I have made safeguarding and growing London’s night-time economy a priority and am doing all I can to protect the capital’s iconic pubs.’
‘By creating the most pro-pub planning strategy the capital has ever seen I’ve shown what can be done, and I want to see the government and local authorities match my ambition and help protect these key community hubs for generations to come.”
Many closed-down public houses are converted to other business uses, or increasingly thanks to the city’s housing crisis and rising land prices, demolished to make way for flats or office complexes.
Geoff Strawbridge, the Greater London regional director for the drinking association the Campaign for Real Ale, added: “Camra branches would like to see all London boroughs adopting robust pub protection policies in their strategic plans and enforcing them in their planning decisions.
‘The mayor’s draft London Plan highlights the importance of London’s pubs as part of our heritage and culture and we commend the efforts of his team in reinforcing his message.”
Across all of London during the year 2017, pub numbers declined by around 2.4 per cent, according to the data sets published by the Inter-Departmental Business Register.
Newham Recorder, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/Newham.Recorder/
“Half of pubs in Newham have closed down” – Ellena Cruse, Newham Recorder/Archant Community Media Ltd (13 July 2018) http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/half-of-pubs-in-newham-have-closed-down-1-5606766
“File:Doolin-Gus-OConnors-Pub-2012.JPG” – Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, Wikimedia Commons (28 March 2012) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Doolin-Gus-OConnors-Pub-2012.JPG