Nick Herbert lends his support to 'the village pub'
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert paid a visit to a village pub in Storrington on Friday afternoon (18 July) to support ‘Proud of Pubs Week’.
Mr Herbert dropped into The New Moon in Storrington High Street and was met by landlord Richard Messenger.
It was an opportunity for Mr Herbert to meet the staff and hear about the valuable contribution that pubs make to the local community.
Proud of Pubs Week is a nationwide celebration of pubs and is organised by The Publican magazine. The campaign is seeking to draw attention to an unprecedented series of challenges, ranging from spiralling beer prices to the sale of cheap alcohol in supermarkets.
Richard Messenger commented: "It was great to see Nick at The New Moon and for him to share a pint with us. He showed a lot of interest in what local pubs have to offer in a village like Storrington. I hope we'll see him here again as a regular customer."
Mr Messenger added: "I bought this pub nine and a half years ago and have put a lot of hard work into building up the business. But times are tough now and all our hard work could be wiped out inside a year - we have rising business rates, more and more Government red tape and I've had to make significant cutbacks in staff hours just to keep going. This is a great pub, so I'm sure we'll survive, but it'll be hard going."
Nick Herbert commented: "I must admit that I don't normally have a pint after my surgeries, although I often feel like I need one at the end of the Parliamentary week. I was glad to signal my support for local pubs. Like other businesses, they are beginning to feel the pinch from the downturn, and it was useful to get an update from Richard on the challenges they are facing."
Mr Herbert added: "Like our post offices and village shops, the local pub is an important part of village life. I hope we won't lose any more from our communities."
Mr Herbert was joined at The New Moon by Horsham District Councillors Chris Mason and Jim Sanson.
Notes for Editors
1. For the website of The New Moon in Storrington, visit http://www.thenewmoonpub.net/
2. For further details of Proud of Pubs Week 2008, visit http://www.thepublican.com/index.asp