‘Stick One In’ to save pubs

The Save St Albans Pubs campaign outside The Boot in St Albans. Local pubs face an unprecedented cri

The Save St Albans Pubs campaign outside The Boot in St Albans. Local pubs face an unprecedented crisis because of coronavirus. Picture: Save St Albans Pubs - Credit: Archant

St Albans pubs were hit with a 90 per cent drop in revenues within 24 hours of Boris Johnson advising people not to go to pubs.

But landlords are not going down without a fight and a bold campaign has been launched to ensure St Albans’ beloved pubs weather the coronavirus storm.

Campaign group Save St Albans Pubs, which has been fighting against high business rates for the past few years, is now promoting the ‘Stick One In!’ initiative to keep them afloat.

The scheme was the brainchild of district councillor Danny Clare, and calls on pub supporters to phone their local and buy a £20 voucher for a round of drinks in the summer.

If you can why not add a £5 tip for the staff who will be suffering badly throughout the current crisis. The voucher will be emailed out and can be redeemed at any time.

SSAP chairman Sean Hughes said: “St Albans pubs are facing a catastrophic future and without Government help they will close and most will not survive the next few days. The Government have pounded pubs for the last four years with excessive taxes and business rates and now it is time that THEY help our historic pubs and inns to survive. As always the Save St Albans Pubs Campaign is doing everything possible to support local businesses.”

The campaign’s vice chair Mandy McNeil said: “We are asking you, our community, to do everything you can do to support your local at this time. Call up your local, order take away and pick it up or let them deliver it to you. Stick One In so that when this is over, in summer and the sun is shining, you can go out to your favourite local pub, they will still be there and there will be a drink with your name on it.”

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Christo Tofalli, landlord of Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, said: “We have some of the most historic pubs in the country and it would break our hearts to have to close them. If people jump on this campaign it could make all the difference to us.”

Sean added: “The Government must still go further to help our pubs. 30 per cent of pubs in St Albans have a rateable value over £51K, so they will not get the £25K grant. We MUST help these pubs. We demand the grant be extended to all pubs. We also need a 75 per cent guarantee on staff wages so that we can close if ordered to. We also need to see these grants paid into the bank accounts of companies under the £51K immediately as pubs have had their income slashed by 80 per cent plus.”