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Half of pubs in Newham have closed down

PUBLISHED: 17:20 13 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:20 13 July 2018

Locals are campaiging to save the Earl of Essex pub from redevelopment into flats. Pic: Ken Mears

Locals are campaiging to save the Earl of Essex pub from redevelopment into flats. Pic: Ken Mears

Archant

The number of pubs in Newham has halved and the Mayor of London is calling for a “united effort” to save the remaining ones.

According to data from the Inter-Departmental Business Register, between 2001 and 2017 the borough said goodbye to 52per cent of its pubs.

In 2001 there were 105 and now there are just 50 - the second worst decline in London.

In April London’s night czar Amy Lamé threw her support behind a campaign to save the Earl of Essex in Romford Road, Manor Park.

The Grade II listed building has stood empty since it closed as a pub in 2012 and locals are fighting to stop it being turned into flats.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said the government, local authorities and the pub industry need to come together to protect the future of the capital’s pubs.

“The traditional London pub has been at the heart of London’s communities for hundreds of years, but sadly they continue to face a long-term decline in numbers,” he said.

“As mayor, I have made safeguarding and growing London’s night-time economy a priority and am doing all I can to protect the capital’s iconic pubs.

“By creating the most pro-pub planning strategy the capital has ever seen I’ve shown what can be done, and I want to see the government and local authorities match my ambition and help protect these key community hubs for generations to come.”

Neighbouring borough Barking and Dagenham pubs had the biggest decline in London with just 20 pubs left out of 45 in the last 16 years.

Geoff Strawbridge, Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) regional director for Greater London, said: “Camra branches would like to see all London boroughs adopting robust pub protection policies in their strategic plans and enforcing them in their planning decisions.

“The mayor’s draft London Plan highlights the importance of London’s pubs as part of our heritage and culture and we commend the efforts of his team in reinforcing his message.”

Although there are many factors contributing to the demise of pubs, including a decline in patrons, campaigning group Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco (Forest) previously said the smoking ban, which came into effect in 2007 in England, had a detrimental impact on the industry.

“Pubs that were already struggling were pushed over the edge when the ban came in,” said Simon Clark, director of Forest.

The number across the capital fell by 2.4pc in the last 12 months of the data set.

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