Mick Dennison column

Mick Dennison.
Mick Dennison.

Every now and then, the pub industry takes a bit of a hammering from the public and government.

At times, we are perceived as evil dens of iniquity or we contribute to anti-social behaviour on the streets – very rarely does anyone celebrate the employment and financial impact pubs have in local areas.

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has published details of the impact of the beer and pub sector for every UK Parliamentary constituency.

The report lists the impact of the industry on jobs and wages and the sectors direct and indirect tax contribution.

It shows that nationally 900,000 jobs depend on the industry; with 44 per cent younger workers aged 16-24.

The BBPA are using these figures to lobby Parliament in a bid to freeze the alcohol duty rate at the next budget. I do hope our own representative supports the motion and fights our corner.

The BBPA report shows our Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency employs 1067 people directly and indirectly within the industry.

All those people take home collectively £11.5 million in wages a year that generates £1.3 million in income tax. Businesses linked into the trade also payout over £7 million in VAT and Business rates.

Of course, many different constituencies figures are higher than ours, reflecting the regional differences brought on by the financial crisis.

It should however give the town and city council food for thought regarding how they can market the town in an attempt to get our industry moving again.

The figure, according to the BBPA report, lists just 322 young people under twenty-five employed in the industry in this area.

There was a time in our town when young people had no problems getting a job either in the summer or full time.

What our trade needs to know from our council leaders is are we ever going to be regarded as a tourist location or just a place people come for the day to look at the view. Jobs depend on that decision.