Thursday, 14 July 2011

Dearling with derelict pubs - council motion for 20 July

As opposition leader I get a slot for a motion at Liverpool City Council meetings.  I decided to go on derelict pubs as these buildings are really blighting some of our communities.  The meeting is on 20th July.  I've pased the text of the motion below:

Liverpool Derelict Public Houses by Councillor Paula Keaveney

Council recognises that public houses serve as significant community hubs in many areas of the city, often in impressive buildings, and have developed roles beyond simply being places for the consumption of alcohol.

Council recognises that the closure of Public Houses has left many neighbourhoods across Liverpool not only with fewer community hubs but also with empty and derelict buildings that add to the general degeneration of an area.

Council notes that in many cases, Public House Buildings are part of the historic fabric of a district and can cause feelings of strong local loyalty and identification.

Council notes that recent figures (from CAMRA- 2008) for national pub closures show nearly 40 pubs per week closing. This is an increase on a survey in 2004 which showed the rate of closures as eight a week. More recent research (by CR Consulting) has highlighted closures between 2007 and 2010 with 45 closures in Liverpool Riverside constituency and 27 in Liverpool Wavertree. The reasons for closures are many and can be complex. The results however are the same.

Council notes that there are examples of empty and/or derelict pub buildings in most wards across the City, for example Kitty Macs in Garston and the Newsham Park on Lower Breck Road/West Derby Road.

Council notes that work was undertaken to try to deal with this problem both in 2002 and in 2007. As part of this work, through the Regeneration Portfolio, enforcement/intervention action was taken in some cases.

However the number and rate of pub closures has increased.

Council believes that a strategy is needed across the City which

· identifies key empty Public House Buildings

· where these buildings are not too damaged to be of use, ascertains what could be done, with partners and the private sector, to either bring them back into use as a Public House or other trading outlet or find other uses to help the community

· enforces conditions on owners who are neglecting their buildings

· works with organisations such as CAMRA and the All Party Beer Group to lobby for government measures which would make the protection and re use of Public House Buildings easier.

Council therefore calls on the Cabinet Members for Regeneration and Transport, Environment and Climate Change, Neighbourhoods and Employment, Enterprise and Skills to produce a report identifying the full extent of the problem within Liverpool and working with partners including in the business sector to draw up a strategy to re invigorate some of our crumbling pub buildings.

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