Local pubs at heart of the community

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PUBS in the Rye and Battle area are to take part in Community Pubs month during April.

The initiative is being run by the Campaign for Real Ale to highlight the vital importance of local pubs and the role they play in communities.

CAMRA endorsed pubs, which appear in their Good Beer Guide, such as the Salehurst Halt and the Queens Head and Robin Hood at Icklesham, will receive promotional packs so they can get behind the campaign and can register their involvement on the Community Pubs Month website.

CAMRA spokesman Tony Jerome said: “CAMRA ran its first Community Pubs Month last year and more than 6,000 pubs took part in the scheme encouraging more people to support their local pubs and breweries.

“The aim of this year’s Community Pubs Month is to encourage licensees to organise and market a number of business building events.”

Pubs in the UK are currently closing at a level of 18 per week with an estimated loss of 180 full and part time jobs each week.

CAMRA has welcomed a decision to end the beer duty escalator which they say will help reduce the level of pub closures and protect jobs in the industry.

The escalator, introduced in 2008, saw beer tax automatically increase each year by two percent above inflation.

A CAMRA petition calling for an end to the beer duty escalator attracted 109,000 signatures.

CAMRA head of public affairs Jonathan Mail said: “An increase in beer duty since 2008 has meant that going to the pub is becoming a luxury.

“Polling shows 55 percent of people feel going to the pub has become an unaffordable social activity.

“Almost one million jobs are dependent on pubs.”