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Redbridge has lost 20 pubs since 2001, figures reveal

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 December 2018

The Doctor Johnson pub.

The Doctor Johnson pub.

Archant

Twenty pubs in Redbridge have closed their doors since 2001, figures have revealed.

Tom Stainer from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). Picture: CAMRATom Stainer from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). Picture: CAMRA

In 2018 50 boozers were still serving punters compared to 70 at the turn of the century, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown.

Among the borough’s closures are The White Horse in Chadwell Heath and The Doctor Johnson in Barkingside.

The number of staff working behind bars has dropped from 900 in 2001 to 800 this year, the ONS said.

An ONS report – Economies of ale: small pubs close as chains focus on big bars – revealed most jobs in the industry paid less than the living wage of £10.55 in London.

Brigid Simmons, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association. Picture: BBPABrigid Simmons, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association. Picture: BBPA

Tom Stainer, from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), said: “These shocking new figures show the huge loss that has been felt by communities as beloved locals closed down.

“Pubs play a unique role in offering a social environment to enjoy a drink with friends, help combat loneliness and help people feel connected to their community,” he said.

Mr Stainer urged the government to save pubs from extinction calling for business rates reform, a full review of the pubs code between larger chains and tenant landlords and a lower rate of duty on beer sold in boozers.

Alan Barker, from South West Essex CAMRA, said fewer people drinking alcohol for religious or cultural reasons and more drinking at home or in clubs helped explain the closures.

Neighbouring Newham has 45 boozers still serving compared to 105 in 2001, one of the largest drops.

Brigid Simmonds from the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said: “Populations have changed, but pubs play a role as meeting places selling soft and non-alcoholic drinks. They have adapted to that sort of change.”

She said the smoking ban along with increased beer duty had hit pubs hard but the industry needed to carry on adapting to survive in the face of increased competition from the High Street and changing drinking habits.

“But it’s devastating to lose a pub. They are really important to people. If people want to keep them they have got to go out and support them. It’s urgent,” Ms Simmonds said.

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