PLANS are in motion to convert four closed pubs for other uses – further proof of the harsh conditions facing the licensed trade in Swindon.
Planning applications have been submitted to Swindon Council for change of use for The Black Horse, in Hinton Road, Wanborough, and The Sandgate, in Oxford Road, Stratton, as well as 12 Bar and The Falcon Inn, both in Westcott Place.
Well, hardly surprising, really. All low-food, local, community pubs with no area outside to create a shelter. Places that rely on smokers.
New figures released this week by the Campaign for Real Ale indicate 26 pubs across the UK are closing every week. Campaigners say this is largely as a result of the recession, tax on beer and cheap supermarket alcohol.
Well, the tax on beer is the same, whether we're talking pub or supermarket. Supermarket booze has always been cheaper. A mate of mine at university used to buy vodka and put it in a hip flask. Recession? Thing is, Swindon isn't actually feeling the effects of recession very much.
I don't know if CAMRA are being deliberately stupid, or are just ignorant.