Thank you for contacting me about support for pubs. As you may know, I’m a passionate supporter of our pubs and brewers.
I’m afraid that, as a matter of principle and like any other MPs, I don’t sign EDMs which have no real parliamentary function and yet are very expensive to administer. However, I do recognise the crucial role that pubs play in the social and economic life of our nation, as well in helping to promote responsible drinking, which is why I’m encouraged by the support which the Government has made available to pubs.
Through the Asset of Community Value scheme, communities can list facilities of local importance, including pubs. This means that if a pub owner wishes to sell, the community has six months to come up with a plan and funding in order to try to save it. Around 2,000 pubs across England are now listed as assets of community value as a result of this scheme.
I’m pleased that the £3.6 million 'More than a Pub: The Community Business Support Programme', launched in March 2016, is also helping to support communities across England to own their local pub. On top of this, the Government continues to support the work of ‘The Pub is The Hub’ initiative to help landlords diversify and provide essential services, such as village shops and post offices, in order to improve the sustainability of their pub.
To further support pubs, the Chancellor's announced a freeze on all alcohol duties for 2018 in the Autumn Budget 2017, a decision which I welcomed. The Spring Budget 2017 also provided a £1,000 discount on business rates bills in 2017 for pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 - 90% of pubs in England - and I was pleased to see this extended in the Autumn Budget for a further year, through to March 2019.
Thank you once again for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes.