St Albans Pubs and the Local Economy Pubs are important and more than just for refreshments, a drink, a lunch or a night out. In St Albans, they generate over £40 million pounds per year for our local economy. They employ over 1600 local citizens, pay over £20 million in wages and are fundamental in local food chains by supporting local farms and businesses. Our pubs play an important role in creating cohesion and combating loneliness within our community.
Information sourced from http://cutbeertax.com
St Albans pubs fundraise hundreds of thousand of pounds annually for local and national charities, community groups and individuals in need. Charities supported include The Ollie Foundation, Rennie Grove Hospice Care, Youth Talk, Hospice of St Francis, Earthworks and many more. They also provide in-kind donations and time and you will find St Albans pub landlords and staff walking, running, or slogging it out in the mud to raise money for charity.
What We Are Campaigning For
In 2017, central government dramatically increased rateable values for too many pubs. The rateable values for pubs are derived from a number of factors including turnover or what is called ‘fair maintainable trade’.
Save St Albans pubs believes that this formula is flawed and is essentially a turnover tax sufficient to turn a modest profit into a whopping loss. The formula penalises pubs located in high value property areas such that they have no choice but to put prices up, or shut down.
Since the Save Our Pubs campaign began 2 years ago, we have lost 10% of our pubs in St Albans and more are on the brink of closure. We need the Chancellor and the Business Secretary as a matter of urgency to address the following:
Short term: budget tax cuts to apply across the board to all pubs for the first £51,000 in ratable values.
Longer term: the development of a new business rates formula for pubs, in consultation with publicans.
Throughout: a timely, independent and transparent appeals process.
What We Have Done So Far
On October 30th, a group of Save St Albans Pubs landlords from The Mermaid, the Boot, the Six Bells and Ye Olde Fighting Cocks went to Parliament with CAMRA as part of the #masslobby2018 to meet with St Albans MP Anne Main.
We wrote an open letter to Anne Main which, combined with your emails to her, resulted in Anne joining us on a Save Our Pubs walking tour through St Albans on Friday November 16th. Although many of St Albans pub landlords were working, the tour group included landlords from The White Hart Tap, The Verulam Arms, The Boot, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, The Six Bells and a representative from CAMRA.
The tour started from the Blacksmiths Arms, where a Save Our Pubs poster with business rate information was displayed, then went past the Beech House, before a quick stop in at The Boot. We continued the tour, taking Anne down George Street past Suckerpunch and Dylans and then on to Ye Olde Fighting Cocks.
We then took Anne through Verulamium Park to the now closed Black Lion and Blue Anchor pubs which have been redeveloped into residential property.
We ended the tour at the Six Bells in St Michaels. All along the tour, were posters and banners highlighting the impact of business rate increase on our pubs.
The outcome of the Save St Albans Pubs tour with Anne Main was positive. Anne has agreed to present our case at Parliament and gave us much needed guidance on how to structure the information required to make our case.
We Need Your Support
Save St Albans Pubs is working hard to put together a brief for Anne Main to present at Parliament. We have a hard road ahead and need your voice to help save St Albans from losing more cultural assets.
Please show us your support by contacting Anne Main either by writing, using the template form on the back page to:
Anne Main MP
House of Commons
or by emailing the MP for your constituency, for St Albans Anne Main: MAINA@parliament.ukand ask them to #saveourpubs