Pub campaigner to meet MPs

THE plight of south Norfolk pubs was due to be highlighted last night when a local campaigner planned to meet MPs.

THE plight of south Norfolk pubs was due to be highlighted last night when a local campaigner planned to meet MPs.

District councillor Keith Weeks was invited to the London seminar by the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group, with other delegates from across the country who are hoping to stem the current tide of pub closures.

The invitation followed a letter Mr Weeks sent in January to the group's chairman, John Grogan, outlining a six-point action plan that South Norfolk Council wants the government to introduce in a bid to save rural pubs.

The strategy was thrashed out during a series of crisis meetings with local publicans who took part in a survey, the suggestions including beer duty to be cut or frozen until Britain comes out of the recession, councils to decide which pubs get business rates relief, and a minimum price per unit of alcohol to stop supermarket loss-leader promotions on drink.


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"We know that these things progress very slowly but we think it's encouraging that they (the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group) have been interviewing the same kind of people as we have in south Norfolk. I really think it shows how right we were to do what we have done.

"We think we have the finger on the pulse, and if we manage to keep pushing for these points and one or two are adopted it's all going to help," said Mr Weeks, chairman of South Norfolk Rural Pubs Task Group.

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He added that a number of government ministers were expected to attend the meeting.

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