Ukip councillor calls on council to save struggling Portsmouth pubs

The Alma Arms, in Eastney, closed last month. Picture: Mick Young
The Alma Arms, in Eastney, closed last month. Picture: Mick Young

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A DEBATE has re-opened over whether Portsmouth City Council should buy struggling pubs to protect them from development.

Ukip Councillor Steve Hastings called on the authority to consider the idea at the last council meeting.

It was dismissed on the grounds the authority was not in a position to run pubs.

But Cllr Hastings says his proposal was misinterpreted.

He said in buying up a pub, the council could hold it as an asset and take rent, rather than be responsible for the business. In an e-mail to Cllr Donna Jones, council leader, he said: ‘The running of the business would have nothing to do with the council, it just makes the council owner of the building in the same way as any other type of building with no other involvement in the running of that business.’

Cllr Luke Stubbs, Tory cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development, said: ‘If there really was money to be made by buying up marginal pubs, then someone in the private sector would have already done that.’