Relief as pub company renews couple’s lease

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PEOPLE power helped make sure a popular landlord and landlady didn’t get kicked out of a pub.

Bob and Maz Forster were preparing to leave the Queen’s Head in Titchfield after running it for eight years when they had problems renewing their lease.

Bob Forster and his wife Maz with their sons Mat, left, and Tom, with his wife Susan ''Picture: Sarah Standing (151805-7866)

Bob Forster and his wife Maz with their sons Mat, left, and Tom, with his wife Susan ''Picture: Sarah Standing (151805-7866)

But when regulars heard about the problem, they started an online campaign and petition, even involving the Fareham MP Suella Fernandes, to save Bob and Maz.

Bob, 65, said: ‘We love the place, we didn’t want to go. The customers drove the campaign.’

Enterprise Inns, which owns the pub, was originally proposing to install its own management, which would have meant that Bob and Maz as leaseholders would have to leave, effectively making them homeless and jobless.

But since the campaign, Enterprise has come to an agreement with the couple and it has extended their lease by five years.

The news has come as a relief to Bob and Maz, and their two sons and their wives who also work at the pub, as they have been in discussions with Enterprise since their lease ran out in March.

Miss Fernandes welcomed the decision to renew the lease.

She had received a lot of messages from worried residents, and took up the issue with Enterprise.

She said: ‘The Queen’s Head is a wonderful pub.

‘Bob, Maz and their family provide such a warm welcome, and that’s what makes it such a popular place at the heart of the community.

‘When Bob told me that Enterprise Inns was not going to renew the lease, I was very concerned.

‘The decision was surprising because the pub has been running successfully and there had not been any identifiable problems.

‘I spoke directly to the chief executive of Enterprise to see if we could find a better way forward, and I know that they also came under pressure from the many local residents who signed a petition to the company.

‘Thankfully they were receptive to the points we put to them, and I am grateful for their reasonableness in 
agreeing to this new settlement.

‘It’s a huge relief for Bob and Maz, and for all their loyal customers.’