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Comment: If you want to keep your local pub, you better start using it
9:00am Tuesday 10th September 2013 in News
Many people like a drink. Many people also like going to the pub. But, as we report today, not enough of us are using our local watering holes.
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has warned that far too many pubs in Oxfordshire have been turned into homes.
In a busy city in need of housing, some may argue this is no bad thing.
Others will say that, on a practical level, homes should not be built where once there were pubs.
CAMRA agrees – and says each pub closure is another nail in the coffin of an ancient British tradition.
There are many causes behind this, and the arguments are well-rehearsed.
Supermarket booze, for instance, is far cheaper, meaning many people drink at home these days.
However, most of us would say that pubs in a local neighbourhood play an important role in the community.
They bring people together and, used responsibly, create a lot of good cheer.
Let’s be honest, they are as English as bangers and mash and a game of cricket.
But the truth is that too few of us are using them on a regular basis.
And that is why pubs close down.
There is a rich irony here – which is that it seems people want more homes in neighbourhood communities so more can move in.
Yet that often leads to the closure of pubs that help these neighbourhoods thrive.
Like local shops, which face similar pressures these days, most of us would agree that we want pubs in our communities.
When it comes, though, to parting with our money, the story is rather different.