Pubs all over the country are struggling. Around 30 pubs are closing every week and Labour understands how this can destroy a community.
Last year, the Hare in West Hendred closed and the village no longer has a pub. Stephen strongly supports the 'Save the Hare' group, who aim to purchase the pub and re-open it. Many other communities are concerned that they too are in danger of losing their only pub.
Stephen says, "The Labour Party has been working for some time with CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) on changes to the law that would help keep pubs open and thriving. Labour was successful in changing the law last November so that pub owners have to offer a free-of-tie option to their landlords. This means that landlords can sell the drinks their customers want and could have helped the Hare to stay open.
"The Tories made it easier to convert pubs into shops by removing the need for planning permission. Labour is committed to reversing this planning law such that an application for change of use would be required to demolish or convert a pub for any other purpose, giving control of a pub's future back to its community.
"I was delighted to meet the Save the Hare group and discuss Labour's plans for pubs. I wish them well with their project."