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Raise a pint and back our pubs says UKIP's Derek Clark.

[UKPRwire, Tue Aug 23 2011] Save our pubs -- that's the message from East Midlands MEP Derek Clark.

Mr Clark has become increasingly concerned at latest figures which have cast gloom on the pub trade in Britain.

The new survey by Jones Lang LaSalle revealed 45 per cent of licensees reported a fall in sales in the last year with 25 pubs closing every week.

Now UKIP MEP Mr Clark has pledged to support British Pub Week and backed calls to amend the smoking ban and alter the VAT rules to allow pubs to compete with supermarket prices.

He said: "UKIP is the first political party to pledge its support to British Pub Week. We want to encourage people to use their pubs.

"Pubs are not simply places to drink -- they are integral to the local communities they serve. We want to help promote the benefits of pub and we're delighted to support British Pub Week."

Now in its third year, it will run from Friday, October 28, to Sunday, November 6.

Chairman of British Pub Week Inez Ward said: "We are pleased to have the full party support of UKIP and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support.

"We are hopeful that other parties would like to follow the lead of UKIP, pubs are important to communities and for social cohesion, are of a benefit to the national economy and tourism and deserve cross party support."

Meanwhile, Mr Clark has backed the party's deputy leader, Paul Nuttall, who has produced an in-depth report called - Last Orders? The Decline Of The Great British Pub.'

He said: "We desperately need to look at pricing structures to allow pubs to compete with supermarkets and we are calling for a fairer balance.

"We also want to look at the smoking ban. In 2009, 2,365 pubs closed across the country which led to the loss of more than 10,000 jobs in local communities, in turn costing the Government an extra Au1.53m a week in job seekers allowance.

"We want to amend the smoking ban to allow pub landlords and club managers to provide contained and ventilated smoking rooms."

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Date:Aug 26, 2011
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