By Councillor Shannon Jezzard,
I have written to Star Pubs and Bars in support of the #nopubnorent campaign to ask pub groups to follow in Fullers footsteps and introduce a rent freeze for pub landlords throughout the Covid-19 crisis.
Whilst it is understandably not everyone’s main concern in these trying times, pubs are at the absolute heart of our hospitality industry in Harlow, and it would be a huge shame to see them have to shut down due to being forced to pay rent throughout the government closure – and absolutely devastating for the workers in pubs across the town to not have a job to return to.
I – for one – am extremely excited for my first pint in a pub once social distancing has come to an end.
My letter is as follows:
I am concerned to hear from local publicans in my ward that Star Pubs and Bars are continuing to refuse a rent freeze – in spite the escalating situation of Covid-19.
It is my understanding that you charge your rent rates depending on the profit the pub is making. With the government understandably forcing the closure of pubs and bars across the country – publicans will see a massive loss of income. It is completely unreasonable to still ask for 50% of rent from pub landlords whilst they are unable to make any profit during this time.
The current situation with Covid-19 is understandably making a lot of people anxious, and whilst government schemes are in place to aid pub staff that are no longer able to work due to closures, little to no support has been offered to those publicans who are still having to pay rent throughout their pubs closure.
Pubs are amongst the heart of our community – and it’d be a great loss to see our local pubs go under due to continuing to have to pay rent during the government’s forced closure. Pubs will be the first meeting point of many friends and family when the risk of Covid-19 is diminished, and it would be an utter shame to see them go before people are able to enjoy them again.
We must ensure that the workers are able to feel confident in knowing they will have a job to return to as soon as they’re able – without the anxiety of their workplace closing for good, too.
You could take inspiration from Fullers – who are doing the right thing by informing 100’s of their pub tenants across the country that they’re cancelling all rent costs.
I have CC’d Harlow’s MP Robert Halfon, who I sincerely hope supports the proposal of a rent freeze for publicans within your pub group.
I look back from hearing your response.
Councillor for Netteswell ward in Harlow