Healey: pub support package within weeks

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Gordon brown, Prime minister of the united kingdom, Labour party

Healey: new minister for pubs
Healey: new minister for pubs
New Minister for Pubs John Healey has promised to table a package of measures to help pubs within weeks. Prime Minister Gordon Brown appointed...

New Minister for Pubs John Healey has promised to table a package of measures to help pubs within weeks.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown appointed Housing and Planning Minister John Healey as the first ever Pubs Minister to "develop a package of measures to support community pubs".

He will lead a team of five ministers to develop a plan to help stem the tide of pub closures.

In a statement, a spokesman said: "Ministers recognise the important role pubs can play in maintaining community life and there is concern across Government about the number of community pubs that have been forced to close during the recession.

"Ministers are determined to tackle this and give them a helping hand during these tough economic times.

"Government action cannot sustain pubs that are fundamentally unviable but it is right to do everything possible to support those pubs that play an important community role.

"This could include any necessary revisions to planning policy that allow pubs to offer extra services and support for community ownership."

Healey said: "Pubs are often at the heart of community life. And they are important meeting places for many people.

"While we can't stop every pub from closing it's right we do everything possible to back them. But they need help now so I am determined to have a deal on the table with a package of practical help in the next few weeks."

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