Save our pubs

“This is pub week and that’s where I’m headed this afternoon. Along with other Parliamentarians, I am paying a visit to the ancient Red Lion pub. My favourite pub, out of the dozens I really like, is The Royal Oak in Cerne Abbas, Dorset. It combines cosiness with good food and good beer.

Sadly, public houses are under threat. Like post offices and libraries, pubs are one of those hubs of the local community that are being squeezed out by high rents and the quick profits that can be made from their conversion to flats.

A positive sign that pub life is not disappearing from our culture is the large number of micro-breweries which have sprung up in the last decade. When I was Deputy Mayor of London one of my most enjoyable evenings was opening the Battersea Beer festival and pulling pints. If you are a drinker then please consider giving your custom to the thriving industry of small-scale brewers. Finally, don’t forget to stay safe.

My advice: don’t drive, just drink.