THE GUV'NOR - Yvonne Cleminson

Related tags Community pubs License Economics 21st century

Yvonne Cleminson, Cherry Tree, Farnham, Surrey

I have been the landlady of the Cherry Tree for 26 years and seen the licensed trade progress through many changes caused by the state of the economy. This directly affected the amount of spending money in my customers' pockets, and consequently the money in my till.

There definitely was a need for reform within the trade and the vast majority of regulatory measures taken over the last five years have been welcomed.

Bringing the licensing law into the 21st century, making premises more accessible to people with disabilities, and more stringent health and safety measures to help us provide the best standards for our customers can only be a good thing.

My concern is with how this affects community pubs and mine in particular. It has been particularly hard to keep up with this new legislation and its costs.

My pubco, Greene King, has been exemplary in bearing the cost of some of this and much of the paperwork, providing the plans of the premises and paying for the premises licence and the legal representation when one of its 1,350 outlets is required to appear at local government offices.

But, however much support they give community pubs, the financial and mental burden on licensees is greatly increased when we are striving in an incredibly competitive market to make a success of our small local businesses.

The epitome of the UK all over the world is the great British pub, and in particular most people's ideal is a pretty village pub with a garden and the ability to serve the community.

With all the bureaucratic nightmares taking place at the moment, that will soon be a thing of the past. We must not allow this to happen - community pubs are as British as fish and chips.

I would like to hear from hosts at community pubs suffering similar problems. Contact me on 01252 792105 or email

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