Renewed calls made for Portsmouth City Council to buy pubs

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CALLS have been made for Portsmouth City Council to be inspired by the spending of another local authority and buy struggling pubs.

Fareham Borough Council has allocated £8m from its budget to purchase supermarkets.

As reported, the authority is going to buy stores with stable tenants and reap the financial benefits of being the landlord as it looks to generate more cash that just putting the money in a bank.

Ukip’s Portsmouth planning spokesman, Cllr Steve Hastings, believes the city council should adopt a similar model with the pub trade to boost prospects for landlords and gain extra money.

The council has previously dismissed buying pubs as it would be too much of a risk, but Cllr Hastings says that was before Fareham made its move.

‘The reason Fareham is doing this is to have a rental income and make investments.

‘And yet that is what Cllr Donna Jones, leader of the city council, said when she came to the council.

‘That she would make the council more business-like and entrepreneurial.

‘She has already spoken about borrowing money to buy IBM. I have said that’s a brilliant idea, but the same should apply to pubs.

‘We’re not talking hundreds of pubs here, it would only probably be a specific one or a couple.’

Portsmouth’s Tory planning boss, Cllr Luke Stubbs, said the right pub would have to become available.

‘The council will be making more commercial investments over the coming years, but we will also put our money where the best deal is,’ he said.