Councillor takes pubs fight to top seminar

A south Norfolk councillor fronting a campaign to save local pubs was heartened by the number of ministers attending a London seminar to discuss national concerns.

A south Norfolk councillor fronting a campaign to save local pubs was heartened by the number of ministers attending a London seminar to discuss national concerns.

Keith Weeks was invited to the meeting on Wednesday, organised by the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group of MPs, after he sent a letter to the group's chairman, John Grogan. It outlined a six point action plan that South Norfolk Council wants the government to introduce to help stem the tide of pub closures.

'I think the biggest impression that came from the seminar was the attendance of many senior ministers. There really were some important people there and they made the right noises,' said Mr Weeks, who chairs South Norfolk Rural Pubs Task Group.

'There seems to be serious consideration about the state of our pubs and that they represent so much more to the community than just a place to go to for a casual drink.'

Many of the suggestions in South Norfolk's action plan mirrored those put forward by the beer group, said Mr Weeks, adding that one idea promoted at the meeting looks like being sunk by Euro legislation.

'A lot of people were very keen on having a reduced rate of duty on barrel beer. But the problem is we are controlled by EU laws and it most likely isn't possible,' he explained.

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