Tadcaster licensee – Ashley McCarthy of Ye Old Sun Inn – joined celebrity publican Jodie Kidd last week to deliver a petition to No 10 Downing Street calling for a cut in beer duty, to help support local pubs.
The Long Live the Local petition is a nationwide campaign backed by Britain’s Beer Alliance and has gathered nearly 115,000 signatures and galvanized more than 47,000 people to write to their MP, including customers of Ye Old Sun Inn. Ashley, of Colton, said he felt compelled to act due to forecasts that one in 10 pubs could shut within five years if the Chancellor does not ease some of the pressures on pubs including a reduction in beer duty in the upcoming Budget.
Ashley added: “Pubs are being strangled by red tape and increased taxation far more than other industries.
“Pub life is a culture and lifeline for many people, and with three pubs still closing daily we need to act – and quickly!
“We’re not asking for freedom from taxes, we’re asking for fair play to enable us to give longevity to this diverse industry and the jobs it gives to so many.”
The Long Live the Local petition delivery comes as polling conducted by YouGov ahead of the Autumn Budget reveals two-thirds of people in the North of England believe pubs are an important part of local communities and more than one in three say pubs are important to their social life.
And two-thirds of Northerners add that pub closures are bad for local communities and around half also say pubs are important to securing the future of the struggling local high street.
But nearly the same number say that going to the pub is less affordable than it was five years ago and over a third state that they now visit the pub less often today.
Asked what should be done, seven in 10 Northerners said they would like to see the Chancellor cut or freeze in beer duty in the Budget on October 29.