Launched today (Friday 12 June), the nascent group aims to campaign for a “better, freer and fairer, more sustainable” pub sector as a member organisation of the British Pub Confederation.
Formed partly in response to the existential threat posed by the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak, the Campaign for Pubs aims to unite publicans, campaigners, suppliers and customers in a single mass membership organisation fighting to protect pubs.
For an annual membership fee of £25-per-year – or £40 per couple – members will become part of a national network of pub lovers, with subscription fees used to fund campaigning work on key issues such as “predatory” property development and protection from closure.
The launch of the Campaign for Pubs comes less than a week after the Forum of Private Business and ‘Pub Defender’ Dave Mountford launched the Forum of British Pubs to "protect and preserve British pubs and the publicans who operate them" in light of issues exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Campaign for Pubs will be fronted by its chair, and licensee of the Swan, the Slip Inn and Volunteer Arms in York, Paul Crossman as well as campaign director, former MP, and chair of the British Pub Confederation, Greg Mullholland.
“There is an urgent need for a dynamic new campaign group providing a real voice for pubs and those who love and support them and we will begin by calling for urgent action to support and save pubs facing huge losses due to the Covid-19 crisis,” Crossman said.
“The Campaign for Pubs will campaign vigorously, along with the British Pub Confederation, for more support for pubs now. We will then campaign for the key changes that are needed to deliver a more independent and sustainable future for pubs, one which will allow them to truly thrive as cornerstones of their communities as all pubs should. For less than the price of a pint a month, you can help stand up for pubs and publicans.”
Mulholland added: “It’s high time that all who are passionate about pubs came together to speak with one voice to campaign vigorously for a better, more independent future for pubs and I am delighted that the Campaign for Pubs has begun.
“We have lost too many pubs due to predatory purchasing, greed and apathy and it is time that we had a radical new grassroots campaign to bring communities together, publicans and customers, to say enough is enough and to fight to preserve pub culture and defend the key role pubs play in our communities, local economies and in our history and heritage.
“We urge all who love and value pubs to join us now, especially with the real threat pubs face now, with the Covid-19 crisis”.