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  • Writer's pictureCllr Liam Walker

Councillor on hunt for pub of the year

A councillor in West Oxfordshire says he is on the lookout for the top boozer in his county council division. Cllr Liam Walker, who represents the Hanborough and Minster Lovell division at Oxfordshire County Council has announced his pub of the year competition in a bid to try and encourage more people to support the hospitality industry and their local pub. Cllr Walker said "The hospitality sector has been hit hard by the pressures of COVID-19 over the past 18 months so I'm pleased to be launching my Pub of the Year competition to celebrate the best of local pubs within the Hanborough & Minster Lovell division." Cllr Walker continued, "In just over a week there has already been over 100 votes cast by local residents or by those who have used one of the 14 great pubs I'm lucky to have across my 8 parishes. I think this is a great opportunity to give our pubs the recognition they deserve after such a difficult period." In his recent budget Chancellor Rishi Sunak handed a major lifeline to pubs as he slashed business rates in a major shake-up which will see the hospitality, retail and leisure industry given a 50 percent discount. The Chancellor said the new system, which applies up to £110,000, is a "simpler and fairer" way of doing things. Mr Sunak said, "This will directly support the home of British community life for centuries: pubs. Even before the pandemic, pubs were struggling: between 2000 and 2019, consumption in the on-trade fell by over 40 percent. And many public health bodies recognise that pubs are often safer drinking environments than being at home." Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said, "Eight-five percent of pubs are based in community and rural areas, bringing jobs to the parts of the UK that need them most. Cutting business rates, VAT and an overall reduction in beer duty goes a long way to helping pubs and brewers that are desperately trying to recover." Voting for the Pub of the Year award is due to close at midnight on the 30th November and Cllr Walker has pledged to visit all 14 pubs over the next few weeks to help promote their businesses even more. Residents can vote at:

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