Tomorrow sees the annual Parliamentary reception for CAMRA. This is an event that allows CAMRA to engage with MPs, Lords and other researchers etc. The free beer that we lay on makes for quite a crowd but of course the most influential ones normally have other engagements.
In previous years it has proved clear that our influence is small and, if anything, reducing if the Chancellor's recent efforts are taken into account. However, increasing pub closures is giving a ground swell of opinion in Westminster that the pub and beer industries have been hammmered too much.
Five government ministers have recently agreed to meet with MPs to hear Parliamentarian’s fears for the future of the pub trade.
Parlimentary Beer Group chairman John Grogan MP has invited them to attend what observers are calling an "unprecedented" joint meeting to look at how urgently-needed help can be offered to the country’s struggling pubs.
The meeting, which is open to all, will be held at 5pm on Wednesday 4th March,2009, in Committee Room 10 at the House of Commons. The full story is here
John Grogan is our host tomorrow and we will be lobbying MPs in various issues. I have a detailed briefing paper that includes, axe the beer tax escalator, support the Sustainable Communities Act, support guest beers and CAMRA Locale and support well run community pubs.
Plenty of food (and beer) for thought. Let's hope we can at last get our point across to the legislators in a tangible, meaningful way.