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Campaign to keep village pub alive
9:00am Tuesday 27th August 2013 in News
A campaign by a group of councillors to keep an Oxenhope pub open has been criticised by the hostelry’s landlady, who says she has never seen them in the pub they are so desperate to save.
The Bay Horse Inn was recently put up for sale by owners Enterprise Inns for £295,000. News of the sale led to three local Conservative Councillors, Glen Miller, Rebecca Poulsen, and Russell Brown launching a campaign to keep the iconic building as a pub. A press release they sent out last week called for it to be named an asset that could be run by the community.
But landlady Karen Ward said the first she heard of the campaign was when she was contacted by the press, and said the reason the pub was on the market was because it wasn’t being supported by the community.
The councillors’ campaign said: “Quite often communities have been sad to see their local, which is an important part of community life, closed and turned into something else.”
Mrs Ward, who also runs the Flappit pub, said she had been unwilling to buy the pub from Enterprise because it was not busy enough to justify the large gamble.
She said: “It has never been a really busy pub, and we worked out the other day that 98 per cent of the village probably never come in. It is a lovely place, we just couldn’t buy it. I’m not happy because we had to make three staff redundant, but most people don’t come in here. There are three more pubs in the village, so I don’t know what the councillors are so worried about. It is the heart of things on Straw Race day, but unfortunately people come in once a year and don’t support it the rest of the time.
“I was shocked when I heard what the councillors were saying. I’m not sure what it’s got to do with them. I’ve never seen them here before.”
Coun Miller said: “Obviously anyone has a right to sell it, but we just wanted to show there was a need for community pubs. Whoever does buy it I wish them well, but I just hope it stays as a pub.
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