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Fears over community pubs.

A Parliamentary inquiry has been launched into the pressures faced by community pubs.

The All Party Parliamentary Beer Group is concerned at the high rate of closures among these small businesses.

Its inquiry will focus on areas where red tape makes it difficult for community pubs to survive.

About 26 community pubs close every month - up from 20 per month in 2000, according to the Campaign for Real Ale.

Camra launched its Community Pubs Foundation earlier this year to help communities save their locals from going under.

John Grogan MP (Labour, Selby), chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group (APPBG), said many local pubs were facing regulatory and economic pressures.

"This inquiry will provide an opportunity for a thorough look at these issues whilst examining the role of the pub in its local community and ways in which the Government could better support it," he said.

The inquiry will look at regulation which has a negative impact on community pubs. It will then recommend ways of making community pubs more economically viable.

APPBG honorary secretary Robert Humphreys said: "There may be regulations which are really designed for big businesses which will be disproportionately burdensome on a small business like a pub."

The inquiry will examine what central and local government could do to improve support for community pubs.

It will not look at general issues affecting the hospitality industry
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Dec 14, 2005
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