West Midlands MEPs James Carver and Bill Etheridge, who have this week launched a Save Our Pubs campaign, say they will fight tooth and nail to protect popular Black Country boozers from potentially ruinous redevelopment plans which could affect hundreds of public houses.
UKIP MEPs James Carver and Bill Etheridge fear the sale of 202 Marston’s pubs to retail property group NewRiver Retail could lead to the loss of a worrying number of financially viable hostelries which are providing an excellent service to their locals.
James Carver MEP last weekend met the landlord of the Hare & Hounds Inn, in Stourbridge, whose pub, likes many others faces the threat of development.
NewRiver Retail want to build a Co-op convenience store on the car park of the popular pub in Wynall Lane and the pub’s landlord, Lee Sargent, is deeply concerned that the plan, if it comes to fruition, who have a massive impact on his business’ trade.
The plight of the Hare and Hounds, and the Seven Stars in Sedgley, where local residents, supported by UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge are fighting proposals to turn the local into a Morrisons convenience store, has prompted UKIP to launch a Save Our Pubs campaign to stand up for the pubs and a sea of new supermarket development schemes.
Commenting today, James Carver MEP, said: “I was pleased to see Dudley Council reject plans to turn the Gigmill pub into a convenience but many more ruinous plans, for pubs such as the Hare & Hounds in Stourbridge are on the cards.
“A number of pubs across Dudley, Stourbridge and Halesowen could be affected by NewRiver Retail’s plans including The Bird in Hand in Oldswinford and the Hare & Hounds Inn.
“Financially viable pub should not be sacrificed to make a quick buck to the detriment of the local communities they serve.”
Fellow West Midlands MEP Bill Etheridge, said: “Save Our Pubs is a major initiative we have set up to campaign on behalf of our great public houses.
“Last orders should not be called on our popular locals. UKIP will continue to champion our vibrant local pubs including the Seven Stars in Sedgley and the Hare & Hounds Inn, in Stourbridge. UKIP’s message is clear – Save Our Pubs.”
Lee Sargeant, landlord at the Hare & Hounds in Stourbridge, said: “The Hare & Hounds is one of the best pubs around here and I fear the plans for our car park will just kill the pub.
“It is our family home and we don’t want to lose it. I have got five children and they all go to schools around here. The scheme has created uncertainty which we do not need nor want,” he added.