Sir George dropped in at the Harvest Home in Whitchurch, as publicans across Hampshire celebrated 'Proud of Pubs Week'. Sir George was one of more than 100 MPs visiting pubs during the national celebration of pubs, organised by The Publican magasine. "It was very helpful to pop into the Harvest Home, to see how they are coping, following the introduction of the ban of smoking at the beginning of the month. It was also interesting to see how the Harvest Home, along with other pubs is welcoming families and children, and broadening the market. In a rural constituency like North West Hants, the pubs have a key role to play as places where people can meet; in many rural villages, the pub is the only place where people can get together." Sir George met representatives from CAMRA, as well as regulars who wanted to discuss the political scene. "I am worried by the way pubs are increasingly owned by companies who have little interest in growing the business, but simply want to extract as much money as they possibly can - often by hoping to sell the pub for residential development. I would be far happier if the pubs were owned by people who had a genuine interest in the business."
Photograph by courtesy of Working 4 Whitchurch