Shropshire pub landlords trying to stay positive ahead of second lockdown

Licensees in Shropshire are trying to look on the bright side as they face further uncertainty with another national lockdowny.

 Adam Caton, owner of The White Hart Pub in Shifnal
Adam Caton, owner of The White Hart Pub in Shifnal

Pubs, cafes and restaurants in England will be forced to close on Thursday, apart from for takeaway and deliveries, as part of a month-long national lockdown.

The government is extending the furlough scheme to cover the period but business leaders have called for more support to ensure firms can stay afloat.

Adam Caton, of the White Hart, in Shifnal, said he would be forced to furlough staff again but he understood why.

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Mr Caton said: "I could see this coming a mile off. We have a plan in place in terms of taking part in the Jobs Retention Scheme which we were due to move to next week.

"If we are forced to close then we'll revert to the furlough scheme, but is doesn't make the situation any easier.

"We have just got to fight through it. The government can't be held solely responsible for what is happening.

"It may seem deflating, but things will get better before long. We'll come out on the other side."

"The main thing for us is to look after our customers and staff. We don't want to lose staff. They have families to take care of."

Bob Headley, of The Bradford Arms Hotel in Llanymynech on the Shropshire/Wales border

Bob Headley, landlord at the Bradford Arms, in the border village of Llanymynech, said: "This is a supportive community and folks have done a good job in looking after vulnerable residents and making sure the elderly have supplies so far during the pandemic.

"The pubs here are a lifeline to customers who may not see anyone else.

"We and the Cross Keys are in England have been open, but the Dolphin, about 100 metres away in Wales already closed last week.

"It has been difficult for everyone, but I'm a former RAF man and I've said all along that there needs to be a single UK committee looking at this, rather then the nations taking their own action to fight the virus."

Ruth Ross, the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce’s director of business, yesterday described the new lockdown as a "devastating blow" for businesses in the county.

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