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Camra to host summit on protecting London’s pubs

The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) and London Assembly member Tom Copley are hosting a summit aimed at helping to secure the future of London’s pubs.

The summit, which takes place on Wednesday evening, will bring together London councillors, MPs, Assembly members and pub campaigners and will call on councils to help fight against pub closures. Councils will be urged to help reduce the number of pubs closing by making it difficult for them to be converted into supermarkets or betting shops.

New Camra figures claim that during 2012 London experienced a net loss of two pubs a week.

Camra chief executive Mike Benner said: “With property values being so high in London, and supermarkets and betting shop chains exploiting planning loopholes to expand their London presence, even profitable pubs face a serious threat to their future from developers.

“The good news is local councils do have powers to be the last line of defence in protecting pubs. Tonight’s summit will enable Camra to urge councils to use these powers by supporting communities to list pubs as Assets of Community Value, remove development rights to help prevent valued pubs being converted into supermarkets, betting shops and other uses and to ensure Local Plans contain pro-pub policies.”

Mr Benner will be one of the keynote speakers at the summit, along with Tottenham MP David Lammy, Senior Planning Officer at Kensington and Chelsea Council Jonathan Wade and Lewisham Council’s Sustainable Community Scrutiny Chair Councillor Liam Curran.

London Assembly Member Tom Copley said: “We need to protect London’s pubs, there are an ever decreasing number and too many are being sold off for flats or other uses. Good, well-run pubs, are the heart and soul of so many town centres and communities across London.

“I’m delighted to be hosting this event with Camra who do vital work supporting real ale pubs and breweries across the country. We are bringing together pub campaigners from across our city to come up with a plan to save the London pub.

“We are also showcasing some of the finest ales brewed in London, local breweries not only deliver a range of fantastic drinks but also support jobs across our city and keep alive the skills for the future.”

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