Government must step in to save our valued locals

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There will be many people who have fond memories of supping a pint or two in the Devonshire Arms.

This Southsea pub has been a firm favourite for years – not least with those Pompey fans who have enjoyed a pre or post-match drink there at one time or another.

Just a goal kick away from Fratton Park, it will certainly have been the scene of many memorable times for regulars, staff and occasional visitors alike.

So we are sure that there will be plenty of people in shock over this pub’s sudden demise.

Selling it to a private developer has put an end to its 100-plus year history and that should mean something to us all, whether you’ve had a drink there or not.

The Devonshire Arms has become the latest in a long line of pubs to close in Portsmouth and that’s a sad state of affairs.

Punch Taverns had already shut The Gravediggers and now it’s decided to sell the Devonshire Arms.

Both pubs will be redeveloped and therefore lost to the industry and the people they serve once and for all.

While it’s true that we need housing and shopping facilities, pubs are the real life-blood of our communities.

They are the focal points for good times and bad, the places that bring us together under one roof to celebrate or commiserate.

How many more pubs must we lose before those in power realise enough is enough?

Beer tax increases are expected to see off more pubs in future and the cheap price of alcohol means many simply choose to buy their drink from the supermarket and stay at home.

Pubs need help to survive because our towns and cities would be poorer places without them.

Landlords and pub companies must do all they can to offer punters a warm welcome and the promise of a good night out.

And we must support our locals because there’s no point in saying we value these places once they’ve gone.

Sadly, it’s too late for the Devonshire Arms, but let’s raise a glass in its memory.