Is The Ban Hurting Trade
It can be argued that public houses which do not offer food do suffer from the smoking ban brought in by the Labour Government.
However for rural pubs which rely on passing trade for the provision of fine food, the smoking ban has not affected profits much. The problem is during the inclement weather when tourists do not flock to the countryside and the pubs rely on local folk. Yet another injustice for locals to take in. Now their main meeting place, the local boozer, restricts them from having a cigarette or a cigar. Shameful. The only thing to be done is to overturn the law.
With thousands of public houses under pressure owing to high duty on alcohol, they do not want customers to be drivein away even more.
It's difficult enough to survive and not every publican wishes to turn their establishment into a Gastro Pub.
So the future of rural public houses is now under more pressure than ever before. The local post offices close and the mobile bank hardly ever turns up, pensioners have a harder time than before and at a time when the pub is the one sure meeting place for the local rural community, the Government introduces more restrictions.
The erosion of the rural way of life and the over reliance of the passing tourist trade can seriously hurt many local rural communities as they become dependent on the tourist and not the local community. This can only be a detrimental issue for the way of life people in rural communities enjoy.
So all may not be rosy for the future of our rural communities. Incomes looking for city style gastro establishments and ignoring the obvious benefits of rural life. I remember growing up in a village and the highlight twice a year was the local village disco and the summer fete. Popping down to my village local was a nice way of relaxing after a days work in the fields, where I could play dominoes or darts with a few friends, enjoy a pint and a smoke and generally relax before going home to my wife and rest the night before work in the morning.
That community spirit is under pressure more and more as publicans diversify into the food trade and ignore the local community. You almost feel ignored as your publican favours incoming trade (with greater profits) to the local couple of pints before I turn in crowd.
I would like to see rural pubs survive but the nanny state has got to play fair. The pub is the heart of a village. Lose the pub and ignore the community and we are all worse off.