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  • Northumberland Arms Public Meeting: February 28, 2017

Author Topic: Northumberland Arms at Risk!  (Read 1948 times)

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Hoffnung

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Re: Northumberland Arms at Risk!
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2017, 10:33:31 AM »
I'm going to have disagree with you Andrew, about the excellent pubs in Marple. There is Oldknow's and The Beer Factory but they have only been opened a matter of months and is it any coincidence that both these pubs were converted from shop premises by enterprising owners and are free from any brewery ties?  But where are the others?   

andrewbowden

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Re: Northumberland Arms at Risk!
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2017, 05:11:00 PM »
Okay - it was a poor choice of wording.  But if it hadn't have been for the uproar about pub redevelopment, would the community empowerment section of said act have been included?  Sorry but I seriously doubt it.

Organisations like CAMRA have been campaigning for better pub protection for years.  If they hadn't been, would the coalition government have put that in for the sake of saving some village greens and so on?  I seriously doubt it.  Pubs are the ones that are under threat the most from corporate greed.  And remain so.

And no, by itself it won't save pubs.  It will just save some pubs.  But if it puts stumbling blocks in the way, then I am for that.  If it hinders developers closing down thriving pubs because they want to convert them to housing or supermarkets, then I'm all for it.  And I know several pubs that have been saved because of this act.  Many weren't saved by community groups actually buying them, but were saved because the community was embolded by the powers it has, to fight and fight hard.

The pubs themselves have to fight too.  Pub operators need to adapt and change else they won't thrive.  You can't keep doing things in a way that is stuck in the past.  But there are plenty of excellent pubs out there that deserve a future.  Indeed Marple has many excellent pubs - good ones are certainly not thin on the ground here.

Hoffnung

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Re: Northumberland Arms at Risk!
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2017, 11:16:54 AM »
Andrew,

The Localism Act wasn't introduced into legislation to protect pubs. It was introduced as a catalyst to seemingly devolve power from the centre and implement the then coalition government's 'vision' of 'Big Society.'

Pubs were just tagged on at the end of it, in fact it mentions, ...' Shops, pubs and playing fields...'

If it was introduced to protect pubs then it has been ne of the worst failures in legislative history, as they are closing at the rate of 27 per week. The reason pubs are closing is that (with a few exceptions) they can't make any money.  The business model for a tied pub now, is outdated and belongs in the 1960s, pre all the other distractions that people now have. The offer from pubs in general is just not good enough, but publicans still cling to it.

It is a pleasure to visit a good pub, nobody who is a drinker would argue with that, but they are thin on the ground these days and they are going to be thinner.

andrewbowden

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Re: Northumberland Arms at Risk!
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2017, 09:22:11 PM »
I think it is worth thinking about why the localism act came about.  Basically pub companies (usually pubcos rather than pub owning breweries) were running down pubs with and flogging them off to the highest bidder.

I used to live in London and a busy popular pub was bought by Tesco and shut down.  They did this a lot.  Another became a chain coffee shop.  Many for housing.  Why?  Because in many cases the value for redevelopment was far higher than that of a pub.  Whole communities lost their pubs forever, for once a pub closes, it rarely reopens.  In other cases pubs were deliberately run down just as an excuse to sell.

The law may not be exactly right but it's the only thing communities have to stop closures.  Many threatened pubs have saved and now thrive.  The Thumb may not be right for Robinson's but that does not mean it can't thrive in other hands.  But if it's converted to housing, it never will.

Hoffnung

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Re: Northumberland Arms at Risk!
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2017, 05:38:22 PM »
The Localism Act is a badly thought out piece of legislation and the most misunderstood section of it is The Community Asset Register.

All kinds of strange and curious businesses up and down the country have found themselves placed on this register. These applications are usually made by well meaning but misled community groups. In the case of pubs, the act was meant to give local communities the opportunity to prevent the only pub in the village closing down. It wasn't meant to give a handful of locals (however well meaning) the opportunity to contest every pub closure that was announced. Especially when there are a handful of other pubs within easy walking distance. I do, to some extent admin, agree with what you say about the brewery's 'mean-spiritedness.' Conversely though, many would say that a business owner should be able to sell part of his business if and when he chooses and to who he chooses. It is after all the owner who has put the investment in, in the first place. None reading this would be very impressed if we decided to sell our house and then discovered that we were postponed from doing so because we had a beautiful garden from which our neighbours derived great benefit from and they had registered he house as a community asset.

Robinsons have a lot of pubs and if they sell to a community group, they will create a dangerous precedent every time they want to sell one of THEIR pubs.

amazon

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Re: Northumberland Arms at Risk!
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2017, 02:09:30 PM »
There's a lot of truth in what you say and I think you're right about Robinsons probably being irritated by it. The other side of that coin is that Robinsons' attitude to closing their pubs is very unpopular with pub lovers. It may make business sense in the short term and on an individual basis but the practice of preventing someone else from having a go to turn a pub that they no longer want into a success is very mean-spirited and I believe alienates their customers.

I too wish the Thumb the very best in rising to the challenge and will buy shares if they manage to get that far. They are certainly making a better show if it than the Travellers, which faltered before it really got off the ground.
it was builders viewing day at the thumb yesterday a lot there viewing .

admin

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Re: Northumberland Arms at Risk!
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2017, 10:18:49 AM »
Being listed as a community asset in itself does nothing. In fact it often works against rescue attempts by strengthening the resolve of the seller inasmuch as they become determined not to sell it to the group that made the application in the first place, thus delaying their own intentions. There is also nothing in the act that compels the vendor to sell the asset to the applicants. That is, even if, the applicants can raise the necessary capital required to buy and run the business. We have had community assets in Marple in the past.

In fact if my memory serves me correctly, one of the pubs on Glossop Rd/Lane ends was on the register and the project just sank without trace.  I know that this particular project  caused some 'irritation' at high level within Robinson's brewery. What community assets often do is give people false hope when probably no hope is a better alternative.

There's a lot of truth in what you say and I think you're right about Robinsons probably being irritated by it. The other side of that coin is that Robinsons' attitude to closing their pubs is very unpopular with pub lovers. It may make business sense in the short term and on an individual basis but the practice of preventing someone else from having a go to turn a pub that they no longer want into a success is very mean-spirited and I believe alienates their customers.

I too wish the Thumb the very best in rising to the challenge and will buy shares if they manage to get that far. They are certainly making a better show if it than the Travellers, which faltered before it really got off the ground.
Mark Whittaker

The Marple Website

andrewbowden

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Re: Northumberland Arms at Risk!
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2017, 10:13:36 PM »
I went to the Bulls Head at Christmas for the first time since moving near it.  It was a strange place.  Lights were barely on, just a few people crowded round the bar and it didn't feel very comfortable.  On that night we went to several pubs, all of which were heaving.  But the Bulls Head certainly wasn't.  It could - and should - be a thriving pub given its location, but from that visit and from walking past regularly, it's clearly not.  Go past at night and it barely looks open.

Anyway, I never got to visit the Thumb, but it sounded right up my street.  I will be watching the attempts to buy the pub with interest and will be happy to get my wallet out, even if it's not on my doorstep!

Hoffnung

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Re: Northumberland Arms at Risk!
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2017, 06:23:11 AM »
Being listed as a community asset in itself does nothing. In fact it often works against rescue attempts by strengthening the resolve of the seller inasmuch as they become determined not to sell it to the group that made the application in the first place, thus delaying their own intentions. There is also nothing in the act that compels the vendor to sell the asset to the applicants. That is, even if, the applicants can raise the necessary capital required to buy and run the business. We have had community assets in Marple in the past.
In fact if my memory serves me correctly, one of the pubs on Glossop Rd/Lane ends was on the register and the project just sank without trace.  I know that this particular project  caused some 'irritation' at high level within Robinson's brewery. What community assets often do is give people false hope when probably no hope is a better alternative.

Sometimes pubs just run their natural course particularly in these times of many other distractions.

Nevertheless, I like the 'Thumb' and I wish the group ...Good Luck.

Staying on the subject of Marple pubs, I understand that the Landlord of The Bull's Head has given his notice. I don't really go in it myself but does anybody know what's happening with that?

   

admin

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Re: Northumberland Arms at Risk!
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2017, 03:40:24 PM »
Sign now up development potential , any one know whats going on with the buy out that was going to happen .

I've merged your query with the existing thread @amazon you will see below there's a link to their web site and there was a public meeting on Tuesday. They haven't updated their news yet but I imagine they will soon.
Mark Whittaker

The Marple Website

amazon

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Re: Northumberland Arms at Risk!
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2017, 01:58:05 PM »
Sign now up development potential , any one know whats going on with the buy out that was going to happen .

admin

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Re: Northumberland Arms at Risk!
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2017, 06:33:11 AM »
Looks like the Northumberland Arms Community Group are making good progress:

http://www.thenorthumberlandarms.co.uk/

Next public meeting: 7pm on Tuesday 28 th Feb 2017 at the Jubilee Methodist Hall (next door to The Thumb)

Mark Whittaker

The Marple Website

Dave

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Re: Northumberland Arms at Risk!
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2017, 06:01:22 PM »
That's good news Malcolm - thanks for that. I'll drop by for a leaflet next time I'm passing. We don't live that close to it, but we pop in from time to time and it would be a shame to lose such a great little pub.  Whatever happens, Geoff and Margaret will be missed.

Malcolm Allan

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Re: Northumberland Arms at Risk!
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2017, 05:20:04 PM »
There is a small group working to save the Pub, supported by a large group of regulars - around 200 signed a petition just before Christmas that went to Robinson's, the brewery who own the pub. The group now has a meeting being lined up with the Robinson family, and in this group we have some good expertise including someone from the Brewery Estate business, a commercial accountant, a surveyor, along with myself to help if I can. The lovely tenants, Margaret and Geoff, retire this month but are being wonderful, supporting, hoping their hard work in creating a great local pub won't be lost. They have done a huge amount running community activities over the years. This is what helped to get the pub "ACV" status but, as is said below, this only buys time if Robinson's decide to sell the property. The group have been in touch with CAMRA for advice and there are a number of options that we want to put to the brewery. If anyone wants to add their support, the best way is to call in the pub and pick up a leaflet. 

admin

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Re: Northumberland Arms at Risk!
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2017, 04:49:53 PM »
I see the application to list the 'Thumb' as an asset of community value was approved - good news, but of course it's only the beginning.

Does anyone know what (if anything) is happening now?

That's right, I was pleasantly surprised. I know that Cllr @Malcolm Allan knows quite a bit about this, so I wonder if he could give us an update please?
Mark Whittaker

The Marple Website