Residents’ calls to give them the right to bid to save their local pub have been turned down by the Welsh Government.
Locals of Graig Penllyn near Cowbridge fear the village pub – The Barley Mow – is under threat – despite tenant Collins Brew working hard to make it a success.
Before Collins took it on – the pub had been closed for 18 months – and the whole village are keen to help him.
They would like the chance to take it over under a community asset transfer – a system available to communities in England under the Localism Act 2011.
The Welsh Government have not yet introduced these measures in Wales.
In a Written Assembly Question to Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services Alun Davies – South Wales Central AM Andrew RT Davies asked the Welsh Government to change the rules to give local communities in Wales the right to bid for pubs when they become available.
In response – the Cabinet Secretary confirmed he had “no immediate plans” to do so – but announced he would shortly undertake a consultation on how the conversion or demolition of pubs can be given “greater scrutiny within the planning process”.
Expressing his disappointment at the lack of instant action – Mr Davies vowed to keep up the pressure and continue the campaign.
He urged residents to contact the Welsh Government to make their views known.
Mr Davies said, “Local pubs play a key part in village life – and the Barley Mow is one such example across Wales.
“Despite being constantly busy and well-used – residents fear for its future – and want to do all they can to save it.
“The fact they are willing to take it on themselves speaks volumes about their commitment – and they should be given the opportunity to do so.
“It’s therefore vital the system in Wales is changed to reflect that in England – where the community has a right to bid if the pub becomes available.
“While I’m disappointed immediate action will not be taken – this is by no means the end. By keeping up the pressure we can make sure the Welsh Government change the rules – and I’d urge residents to get in touch with the Cabinet Secretary as part of the consultation.”
[Picture: South Wales Central AM Andrew RT Davies pulls a pint at the Barley Mow, in Graig Penllyn near Cowbridge]