Beer prices must be slashed to save pubs, says Shrewsbury councillor after latest closure

Beer prices should be slashed to "save our pubs" a councillor has said after the closure of a Shrewsbury boozer.

Councillor Alex Wagner
Councillor Alex Wagner

Ye Olde Bucks Head in Frankwell, Shrewsbury, closed last week, with bosses blaming "adverse trading conditions".

Now town and county councillor Alex Wagner has penned a letter to Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski pleading for him to lobby the Government ahead of the March budget.

Mr Wagner insists beer duty should be slashed by 20 per cent, and pub bosses should also get help with business rates and energy bills.

In the letter to Mr Kawczynski, he said: "Shrewsbury and Atcham has a fantastic array of pubs, many of which are at the heart of the communities they serve. They provide a social home and guard against isolation for thousands, and are the backbone of our area’s night-time economy.

"Due to the rising cost of goods and employing staff, customers tightening their belts and help with energy bills being reduced later in the year, many pubs are at risk of closing for good. Indeed, some are already going - with closures and sales of local institutions such as Ye Old Bucks Head.

"I am writing to ask you to back the local pub trade, and argue strongly that the March budget contains measures to protect Shropshire’s pubs, social clubs, breweries and cider producers.

"Please will you back CAMRA’s campaign and support Shrewsbury’s pubs by writing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer asking in the House of Commons asking the Chancellor to reduce duty charged on draught beer and cider served in pubs and taprooms by 20 per cent from August 2023, helping venues compete with the likes of supermarket alcohol?"

The campaign also calls for the introduction of a new, lower, business rates multiplier for hospitality businesses in recognition of their community value, and increased support with energy bills for beer and pub businesses from April.

"It would be fantastic to win cross-party support for this campaign and show local pubs across Shrewsbury and Atcham that we are on their side, and want them to thrive for years to come," added Mr Wagner.

Mr Kawczynski has been approached for a comment.

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