More than a quarter of St Albans district pubs shut between 2001 and 2018, data shows

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 December 2018

CAMRA demonstration outside The Camp pub, which closed in 2015. Picture: Kevin Lines.

CAMRA demonstration outside The Camp pub, which closed in 2015. Picture: Kevin Lines.

Archant

More than a quarter of the pubs in St Albans district have shut since 2001, new data has shown.

Data from the Office of National Statistics shows the number has dropped from 130 in 2001 to 95 in 2018.

The Campaign for Real Ale’s South Hertfordshire officer, John Bishop, said: “The reason many pubs have shut and are continuing to do so even in affluent areas is that more still needs to be done by the government to help keep pubs – one of our national institutions - financially viable.

“Beer duty may have been frozen in the October Budget and some rate relief for smaller pubs given and welcomed.

“However, there was no relief for those over a rateable value of £51,000 and British pubs and drinkers still pay some of the highest taxes compared to their European competitors. “There is a lot of catching up to do to right the wrongs of previous government policies of all administrations to escalate beer tax and other unfair taxes on pubs introduced by both Labour and Conservative governments.”

The Blue Anchor on Fishpool Street, once a pub and now housing, was one of 35 pubs to close in the city between 2001 and 2018.The Blue Anchor on Fishpool Street, once a pub and now housing, was one of 35 pubs to close in the city between 2001 and 2018.

“In the meantime we must continue to press for change and I encourage all drinkers to support their local pub by visiting it regularly”.

Since a reform of business rates in 2017, ten per cent of St Albans pubs have closed due to cost pressures.

The rates of the remaining ones have skyrocketed rates increases of up to 280 per cent.

Half of the pubs in St Albans district have more than ten employees, a much different picture to 2001 when the majority had fewer than ten.

King Offa pub, which closed in 2015.King Offa pub, which closed in 2015.

While Hertsmere has also lost a quarter of its pubs, it had fewer to begin with; while Welwyn Hatfield has the same number now as it did in 2001.

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More than a quarter of the pubs in St Albans district have shut since 2001, new data has shown.

CountryPhile

I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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