Shadow minister Toby Perkins visits Norwich pub

Labour Shadow Pubs Minister, Toby Perkins, meeting Norwich pub landlords to celebrate extra protecti

Labour Shadow Pubs Minister, Toby Perkins, meeting Norwich pub landlords to celebrate extra protections for tied pubs following vote in Parliament at the Rose Inn, City Road Jess Asato, Labours Parliamentary Candidate for Norwich North,Norwich. Pictured with landlady Dawn Hopkins, left and Photo: Steve Adams Sent from my iPad

Shadow small business minister Toby Perkins, who has a responsibility for pub issues, has visited Norwich to meet landlords at the Rose Inn, on Queens Road.

New legislation has recently been voted through the House of Commons which will give tied pubs the ability to purchase a wider variety of beers at cheaper prices.

A number of pubs in the Norwich area are tied, meaning they are required to buy some of their beer from a particular brewery or pub company. This is in contrast to a freehouse, which can pick and choose the beers it sells.

The legislation still has to be passed in the House of Lords, but Mr Perkins yesterday emphasised the importance to landlords in the trade that this could be the start of pubs beginning to make their own choices again.

'Pubs play an important role in the culture and future plans in Norwich. The legislation is a significant change that will achieve fairness within the industry and to create jobs based on sales and are clearly beneficial for the community,' he said.

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One landlord who was keen to hear about how the new plans would relate to him was James Linder, from the Garden House, on Pembroke Road, Norwich, which is currently a tied pub.

Mr Linder is also the landlord of a Norwich freehouse, The Eagle, on Newmarket Road.

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'It's been an incredible struggle. In some cases at The Eagle, we have had to pay double for the same amount of beers that I am paying for at the Garden House,' he said. 'This affects the level of service you can give to your customer, but the legislation gives us a glimmer of hope and something to look forward to.'

The EDP and Norwich Evening News are continuing to support pubs with the 'Love your Local' campaign.

Dawn Hopkins, landlady of the Rose Inn, said: I am pleased to see the newspaper backing people to love their local pub.'

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