1 May 2012
Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for Berkshire and the South East, today awarded Reading pub The Jolly Anglers with a Community Pub Award from the British Pub and Beer Group in the European Parliament. This award aims to recognise the value of local pubs and the central role they play in local community life.
L to R: Louise Thompson (bar staff), Councillor Rob White, Hazel Murphy (Abbey candidate), Sunil Ghandi (Minster candidate), John Westendorp (landlord), Keith Taylor MEP
Keith said “I think it’s important to support local pubs and the production of local beer and cider in the region. For this reason I have long supported the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) in its mission to promote community pubs as a safe and sociable place to enjoy a pint. The Jolly Anglers is just such a place and I am proud to recognise it with this award.”
The Jolly Angler was reopened two years ago following a strong campaign by locals who appreciated the range of high quality beers and ciders and the friendly atmosphere of the pub. Keith enjoyed lunch with Green campaigners at the Jolly Anglers earlier this month and was impressed by the lengths that the community had gone to save it and the resilience of the pub’s landlord, John Westendorp. Keith vowed to return to mark the start of the Reading Beer and Cider festival.
Keith hopes that work by groups like CAMRA and the British Pub and Beer Group will raise awareness of the importance of local pubs and the threats they are facing. Keith, along with Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MP, is also concerned about the effects of cheap supermarket alcohol, often sold at below cost price. Keith is supporting CAMRA’s campaign for a ban on supermarkets selling beer at below cost. The ban would go some way to levelling the playing field for pubs.
Keith said, “Cheap supermarket alcohol contributes to the decline of local pubs and encourages excessive drinking at home, which can bring a range of health and social problems.”
Keith added “I enjoy going to my local pub and having a drink with friends and neighbours and I hope that this great national tradition will long continue. Friendly pubs like The Jolly Anglers are part of our local culture and identity. There’s nothing quite like a British pub anywhere else in the world and some of our best beers and ciders come from the south of England.”
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