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Public Houses

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what recent discussions he has had with pub landlords on the effects of the recession on their businesses; (325597)

(2) whether he has visited any pubs on official business in the last 12 months;

(3) what assistance his Department has provided to pubs during the recession.

Since the Prime Minister asked me to lead work across Government to help and support Britain's community pubs in January, I have made a number of visits to pubs and had various discussions with landlords. I have also had discussions with cross-party groups and other organisations directly concerned with the pub industry.

On 19 March 2010, I published the Government's package of measures to support community pubs. Our plans fall into three main categories:

Business support

Industry standards and consumer choice

Community and local authority action.

Further details on our package of measures can be found on our website:

In addition to this package of measures described above, Planning Policy Statement 4: ‘Planning for Sustainable Economic Growth’ (published in December 2009) provides policy tools for local authorities to take into account the importance of pubs to the local community when a planning application is made that would result in its loss and enables them to refuse planning permission where people's day to day needs are not safeguarded.