Havering has lost 25 pubs since 2001, figures reveal
PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 December 2018
Twenty-five pubs in Havering have closed their doors since 2001, figures have revealed.
In 2018 60 boozers were still serving punters compared to 85 at the turn of the century, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown.
Among the borough’s closures were The Squirrels in Gidea Park and The Marlborough in Collier Row.
The number of people working behind bars has dropped from 1,250 in 2001 to 900 this year.
An ONS report – Economies of ale: small pubs close as chains focus on big bars – revealed most jobs in the industry paid less than the London living wage of £10.55.
Tom Stainer, from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), said: “These shocking new figures show the huge loss that has been felt by communities with beloved locals closing down.”
Mr Stainer called for business rates reform, a review of the pubs code between larger chains and tenant landlords and a lower rate of duty on beer sold in boozers.
Neighbouring Barking and Dagenham saw one of the biggest drops with 25 pubs going, almost half its 2001 total of 45.
Alan Barker, from South West Essex CAMRA, said more people were drinking at home or in clubs and that helped explain the closures.
Cheaper supermarket prices, alcohol duty increases and changes to pub ownership resulting in beer price hikes making some pubs less competitive had also taken their toll.
However, a continued rise in the number of micropubs, which mainly serve cask ale and shun electronic entertainment, would help the industry.
“In Havering there are two, one in Upminster and another in Gidea Park. Unfortunately, in London the growth has been much slower than in the rest of the country, probably due to the higher cost of property leases and difficulty achieving change of use consents,” Mr Barker said.
Brigid Simmonds from the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said the smoking ban and increased beer duty hit pubs hard but the industry needed to carry on adapting.
“It’s devastating to lose a pub. But if people want to keep them, they have got to go out and support them,” Ms Simmonds said.