More than a quarter of St Albans district pubs shut between 2001 and 2018, data shows
PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 December 2018
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.”
“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.
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.