Call for beer tax freeze as pub closes

By Connie Osborne Friday 11 January 2013 Updated: 11/01 09:28

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Buy photos » Staff at The Brook Inn served up their last pints as the pub closed due to the sluggish economic climate. Picture by Jon Mullis 01.012.006.redd.jm1

IT WAS last orders for a long established Redditch pub which closed its doors for the final time.

Staff at The Brook Inn on Sillins Lane, in Elcocks Brook served up their final pints last Wednesday (January 2), blaming the closure on the current economic climate.

A statement posted on the pub's Facebook page said: "It is with great regret that due to the current economic climate the pub will no longer be trading. Thank you to everyone that has supported Steve and the team."

A pub first opened on the site in 1841 under Richard Humphreys and has remained a popular choice for residents over the past 170 years.

A spokesman from the British Beer and Pub Association said it was a sad state of affairs to see pubs such as The Brook Inn closing.

"Pubs like this continually disappearing is like ripping the heart out of the community and it's something which we should be preventing," he said.

"This is a UK wide issue that is hitting towns and cities hard with around 18 pubs disappearing a week."

He added beer tax had risen by 42 per cent since the budget in March 2008 and called on the Government to freeze the tax.

Redditch MP Karen Lumley said she was extremely disappointed to here about The Brook Inn's demise and called on the Chancellor to look favourably on beer tax in his budget.

"I have been there many times. As a member of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) I feel pubs are at the centre of the community and provide great places for people to socialise and enjoy themselves," she said.

"I just hope new owners will come in and get the pub back up and running. Local businesses, small and large are very much the back bone of our community and industry and I hope they stay for a long time to come."

Mrs Lumley recently met with members of CAMRA in Westminster to discuss their aim to scrap the beer tax escalator and was looking forward to the group's annual beer festival being held at Rockland's Social Club in Headless Cross on February 1.

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