Saturday, 24 September 2011

My Article as published on Citizens Eye and Leicester Drinker (Oct/Nov)

Community Pubs and Their Role in Society

By Ken P Duddle:

For many years binge drinking has been blamed for the breakdown in society by both politicians and health experts. Cheap cider, cut-price six-packs as well as many City centre pubs and alcohol in general have been the targets.

But can pubs that serve the community be put in the same  category as supermarkets that undercut them on prices?  I believe not.  But they are suffering with the closure of pubs at an alarming rate because of government clampdowns and high tax duties. What benefits do community pubs have over supermarkets?

The local pub can be a place where you are able to meet and socialise, have a game of darts or dominoes, discuss interests such as buses or trains and maybe resolve local problems. Some pubs may specialize in micro brews and real ale, putting on festivals that attract customers from across the county and often further afield.  Drinkers travel far and wide in search of the perfect pint.

What we have now is a situation where supermarkets can buy and sell cheaply, not being liable for the same level of taxes that breweries face and as a result many people are drinking at home, affecting the livelihood of many a publican. In Leicester alone in the past 5-10 years we  have seen the closure of several pubs that were regularly used by residents living nearby.

In conclusion I feel that the local pub plays a vital part in ensuring that community spirit survives.

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