Another Doncaster pub looks set to be lost for good today – prompting its ex-boss to back our Save Our Pubs campaign.
Doncaster Council meets this afternoon to decide on full planning permission for a scheme to convert the former Red Lion on Bank Street, Mexborough, into flats.
Part of the building, which is in a conservation area, would be demolished.
It is the latest former bar in the borough to face going to the wall, having closed a year ago.
The Star is urging the Government to take action to help landlords, by setting up a code which would ensure pub companies charge fair rents, and giving landlords freedom to choose where they buy their beer.
Pam Thornton, who was the last landlady at The Red Lion before it closed, said: “When we were there the rent was too high, and when we built the business up we were asked to pay more.
“We thought we may have been able to make it work as a free pub, and asked about buying it, but we were told it would be £250,000, which was too much for us.
“I don’t think there was a customer who didn’t cry the night we closed.
“But the problem we faced was too much duty and too much rent. I am backing The Star’s campaign. The Government should be doing something.
“It is a shame, but there are so many pubs that are unfortunately going.
“The Government needs to take a stand.”
Mrs Thornton’s regret at the loss of The Red Lion Hotel is shared by Mexborough’s Doncaster councillor Sue Phillips.
She said: “They put on lots of events at The Red Lion before it closed, but it seems that they just could not make it pay.
“There are far too many of our pubs closing and it makes you wonder if there will be any left soon. I’m backing The Star’s campaign.”
The plans for The Red Lion go before Doncaster Council planning committee today.
Doncaster MP Rosie Winterton has pledged to do her bit to help stop Britain’s boozers going to the wall.
The Doncaster Central MP has given her backing to a new code of conduct to help landlords.
Ms Winterton backed a parliamentary motion calling for help for landlords, which was defeated.
It called on the Government introduce a bill in 2014’s Queen’s Speech. The Government instead passed a motion giving themselves more time to review the evidence.