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Smoking ban slashes pub trade

PUBLISHED: 08:38 01 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:23 12 July 2010

Two south Norfolk publicans may consider closing their pubs because the smoking ban has slashed trade.

Steve Green, landlord at the Dickleburgh Crown, and Marilyn Forder, landlady at the Fox and Hounds in Great Moulton, this week said they might be forced to call time at the bar because the ban has hit profits.

Two south Norfolk publicans may consider closing their pubs because the smoking ban has slashed trade.

Steve Green, landlord at the Dickleburgh Crown, and Marilyn Forder, landlady at the Fox and Hounds in Great Moulton, this week said they might be forced to call time at the bar because the ban has hit profits.

Mr Green and Mrs Forder said that retail sales of cheap alcohol were also affecting publicans struggling to cope with the ban which was introduced last July.

“The smoking ban has put a lot of pressure on us and this combined with cheap booze has led to a lot of people staying at home,” Mr Green said.

“Why couldn't we have gone back to the old days and had separate smoking rooms, leaving the majority of the pub non-smoking? Now smokers are being treated like lepers. The smoking shelter we provide only has two sides. Animals sleep in better conditions that that.”

Mr Green said his takings were down 20pc compared with before the ban and his losses since taking over the pub in March amounted to about £35,000.

He said that if the situation continued he may have to consider leaving. “People have to use their village pub or lose it,” he said. “I am sure there are a few pubs that have done better out of the smoking ban but they will be less in number than the ones hit by it.

“We have got brand new letting rooms and provide really nice bed and breakfast accommodation. It is quiet at this time, but we are hoping that as the weather gets better over the next few weeks that things will improve.”

Mrs Forder has been landlady at the Fox and Hounds for 21 years and said it was the worst period she has known in her 40 years in the trade. “The smoking ban has had a massive impact on trade,” she said. “It is now much more difficult to get people in. Closure has crossed my mind but we are hoping that people will support us and use the pub.”

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