Promoting Pubs With Neil Coyle MP
On Sat 20 Aug we visited a number of local pubs with Southwark & Old Bermondsey MP Neil Coyle.
Neil is known as an active supporter of local pubs and we aimed to generate publicity for the valuable community role they play and the challenges many face today.
We selected a broad range of pubs to visit to highlight their varied nature:
China Hall, Lower Road, Rotherhithe
Mayflower, Rotherhithe Street, Rotherhithe
Draft House, Tower Bridge Road
Rake, Borough Market
Gladstone Arms, Lant Street, Borough
We met up at 1.30pm in the China Hall in Rotherhithe, a pub (owned by an offshore property company) we have tried twice this year to get registered as an Asset of Community. On both occasions we been turned down by Southwark Council for want of more evidence of local support – despite a petition signed by 62 locals! We have written to the council seeking a meeting to discuss their ACV requirements as we consider they set the benchmark too high.
We then finished up at the Gladstone Arms in Borough. The Glad is currently under threat as the offshore property company owner previously submitted plans to demolish the building and replace with a 10 (yes 10!) storey block of flats including a token gesture of a tiny bar on the ground floor.
In this case we, in conjunction with the Save The Glad group of locals, were successful in getting the pub registered as an ACV. Also, Southwark Council created a new conservation area that included the pub.
Faced with this and negative soundings from the council planners, the planning application was subsequently withdrawn. However, that is not the end of the matter as we are concerned to ensure the owner renews the current licensee’s lease and doesn’t leave the pub empty as a tactic to try to win over the planners.
So keep up the campaigning – our pubs need you!
Click here to read an article in the London Evening Standard and here to read a spread in Southwark News, both featuring our crawl, and here to read & listen to articles posted by the LondonSE1 Community Website.