Help St Albans Pubs

19th October 2017

Anne Main MP has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer calling on the Government to do ‘all it can’ to help hard-pressed pubs ahead of next month’s budget.

Mrs Main said that the, ‘great British pub is synonymous and integral to our culture and our country,’ and that it was, ‘no exaggeration to say that St Albans… is unique.’ 

‘[P]ubs in St Albans are being hit particularly badly due to the district being an extremely high-value area.  As you are aware, the value of a property is built into the formula used to calculate rates.  There are particular issues faced by St Albans pubs, such as the number of public houses that occupy historic buildings.  These pubs face particular challenges in maintaining their structure, and cannot expand due to their listed status.  These pressures are, therefore, idiosyncratic.’

Back in March this year Anne met with communities secretary, Sajid Javid, and successfully argued that extra support be given to pubs following the change in business rates.  Anne said after her meeting with Mr Javid that whilst she was pleased that the Government had taken action to support businesses, ‘the rate rise for some in St Albans [was] too much to swallow.’

The Chancellor announced in his Spring Budget that a £300m discretionary fund will be used by councils to help pubs that are badly hit by the new rise in business rates. 

In her most recent letter, Anne added that, ‘We have over 60 pubs in St Albans, supporting over 1,600 jobs, adding £33 million to the local economy,’ and that it was, ‘absolutely vital that the government does all it can to ensure that public houses are not priced out of our historic town centres, and recognises these particular pressure in the forthcoming Budget.’ 

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