It’s down to all of us to keep our pubs open

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Another day, another pub closure.

This time it’s the RMA Tavern, in Cromwell Road, opposite the much-loved Eastney Cellars which closed less than three years ago.

Two popular pubs, just yards apart, which should have been doing a roaring trade.

But in both cases the landlords said they could no longer continue without the support of the owners.

Every time a pub closure is announced – usually just days before the last pint is poured – there’s shock within the community.

And there are cries about how the heart is being ripped out of towns and cities with the loss of our watering holes, around which drinkers swap gossip and stories and friendships are made.

But why are people shocked? How many still used small pubs such as the The Tap, in North End, or Mr Pickwick in Milton Road?

Because, as Councillor Linda Symes rightly points out, you either use the pubs or lose them.

Seven years ago we launched Love Your Local, a campaign to save smaller pubs that were under threat.

It evolved into a weekly page dedicated to championing venues that would otherwise fall under the radar.

And each week we bring pub news to our readers.

But now, as Cllr Symes put so well, it’s time to vote with your feet.

Use those small locals near you that don’t have fancy menus – pop in for a drink with friends and soak up the atmosphere rather than heading for cheap food and loud music at the chain pubs.

It’s time to show the breweries who own the smaller pubs that it’s worth investing in them, that there’s still a need for little local pubs in the community.