London mayor's plan to combat thousands of pub losses

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

London calling: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called for the Government and local authorities in the capital to help protect pubs
London calling: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called for the Government and local authorities in the capital to help protect pubs
After figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that London loses one pub per week, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called for the protection of those that remain.

According to ONS figures, 3,540 London pubs closed between 2001 and 2017, representing a reduction of more than a quarter (27%).

The London boroughs of Newham, Barking & Dagenham, Waltham Forest and Croydon have seen the number of pubs halve, while Havering has lost more than a quarter of its pubs over the same period.

Moreover, half of London’s small pubs have closed, while the number of larger pubs has more than doubled.

Of London’s 32 boroughs, Hackney is the only one to have seen an increase in pub numbers since 2001, with the borough boasting 20 more pubs than 17 years ago.

The Mayor of London said that he planned to introduce strict planning requirements, appoint a night czar and establish a “culture at risk” office in order to help save the capital’s pubs.

Khan has also called for the Government to review valuation policy for pubs following soaring business rates and will commission new research to help paint a clearer picture of exactly why pub numbers are falling and help pubs plan for a sustainable future.

Pro-pub planning

Khan said: “The traditional London pub has been at the heart of London’s communities for hundreds of years, but sadly these pubs continue to face a long-term decline in numbers.

“As mayor, I have made safeguarding and growing London’s night-time economy a priority and am doing all I can to protect the capital’s iconic pubs.

“By creating the most pro-pub planning strategy the capital has ever seen I’ve shown what can be done, and I want to see the Government and local authorities match my ambition and help protect these key community hubs for generations to come.”

Geoff Strawbridge, Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) regional director for Greater London, said: “CAMRA branches would like to see all London boroughs adopting robust pub protection policies in their strategic plans and enforcing them in their planning decisions.

“The mayor’s draft London Plan highlights the importance of London’s pubs as part of our heritage and culture, and we commend the efforts of his team in reinforcing his message.”

The ONS figures on pub and bar closures in the capital since 2001 can be found here.

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