Portsmouth South MP steps up fight to save pubs from axe

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CITY MP Mike Hancock is continuing to highlight the plight of pubs across the area to the government.

Mr Hancock, parliamentary representative for Portsmouth South, has sent a letter to communities secretary Eric Pickles urging him to do more to protect locals.

He wrote: ‘As you are probably aware, according to research by the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), the rate at which British pubs are closing has increased to 31 per week, with 3 per cent of pubs in the suburbs having closed in the past six months alone.

‘This is a staggering figure which shows that serious action needs to be taken to reverse this trend.’

He added: ‘I urge you to take action to halt the closure of our local pubs, and to ensure that local communities continue to benefit from the social, historical and financial value that our local pubs provide.’

It comes after Mr Hancock wrote to Stephen Williams in the department for local government stressing the need for changes to be made in planning laws.

Figures show around 13 pubs across the region have closed since 2013.

Currently, locals can be turned into shops without the need for any planning permission to be sought.

It’s the reason why former pubs such as The White Hart, in Portchester, The Linden Lea, in Portchester, The Portsdown Inn, in Paulsgrove and The Oakwood, in Northern Parade, Hilsea, were able to be redeveloped without approval being needed.

The News recently revealed that 57 per cent of pubs tied to a company earn less than £10,000 a year, and that a lack of support is a big reason why publicans walk away.