national pub campaign “follows cumbrian lead”

Rory has voiced his enthusiastic support to a Government review that will boost the number of local pubs nationally. Rory welcomed the announcement last week that, as part of its commitment to the Great British pub, the Government has launched a review of restrictive covenants, a legal clause that can be used to prevent community pubs re-opening as public houses following a sale. In just 5 years under the previous Government – between 2004 and 2009 – some 572 pubs are said to have been permanently lost following a sale with a restrictive covenant, potentially depriving thousands of regulars of an important community asset. He has called it “a triumph for Cumbrian pubs, which are leading the way in showing that community ownership is a viable option.”

Since election, Rory has campaigned tirelessly for the survival of pubs in his constituency, supporting the George and Dragon in Garrigill, the Butcher’s Arms in Crosby Ravensworth, and the Strickland Arms in Great Strickland, as well as offering advice to numerous other constituents who have approached him about saving their local. He has spoken in Parliament on the vital role played by pubs in our rural communities, and recently hosted a visit to Hesket Newmarket by the Plunkett Foundation to celebrate co-operatives week and encourage communities to investigate community ownership models.

Rory said: “Pubs are hubs of community life. They are as important to the local social scene as they are to the local economy here in remote Cumbria in particular. I am a share-holder of both the Old Crown in Hesket Newmarket and the Butcher’s Arms in Crosby Ravensworth, and consider it one of the best investments you can make in your community. But time is being called at too many of our ‘locals’, depriving people of treasured places to get together in the community. We are putting the people back in charge, giving them the power to step in and save their much-loved community assets. By reviewing this restrictive red tape we will enable people to use their collective powers to ensure that their locals remain local and continue to thrive at the heart of every community. This is a really exciting breakthrough, and shows also that we are committed to busting bureaucracy that hampers rural communities like ours.”

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