Keeing you updated with the latest Bromley CAMRA Branch news.
Tuesday 30th October saw six intrepid Bromley CAMRA members join the national effort to speak to MPs about concerns for the future of our pubs. In particular we raised:
• Reform of tax on beer
• Fairer business rates for pubs
• Make the “Pubs Code” work for tenants
We met first at Victoria Station, then registered ourselves with CAMRA at the Emanuel Centre in Marsham Street, and by 11 am we were outside Portcullis House for security clearance to lobby Bob Stewart, MP for Beckenham.
We did not have to wait long because Bob Stewart came out and found us in the queue. The Chancellor had delivered his Autumn Budget the day before, so there was plenty to talk about. Beer duty had been frozen, as had spirits, but wine duty was rising with inflation.
Bob is a long time supporter of CAMRA, having previously attended and opened a number of our branch beer festivals. He often drinks at The George Inn, Beckenham, and sometimes at The Jolly Woodman (“the Woodie”) in Chancery Lane, Beckenham. He is keen on micro breweries and they have considerable tax concessions – much to the annoyance of the corporate brewers.
Bob led us through underground passages to Committee Room 10 in the House, where CAMRA had organised a waiting facility. On the way we said hello to Boris Johnson MP in his cycling helmet, and rode in the lift with Frank Field, Chairman of the Work and Pensions Select Committee. Bob was down to ask a question in the Chamber about British farmers in Cameroon, after which he found us in Room 10 and took us for a beer in the Strangers’ Bar, adjacent to the Thames Terrace.
We rounded things off on the Terrace, thanked Bob Stewart, and headed off. An enjoyable and worthwhile morning.
The Bromley lobby team was Bromley Councillor Michael Tickner (Copers Cope Ward), Branch Vice Chair Janet Freak, Brian Freak, Murray Mackay, Anne Dyson, and Marc Harding.
Bromley Branch thanks our member Councillor Michael Tickner for making the arrangements and for leading our lobby team and thanks also Bob Stewart MP for making our delegation so welcome