Croydon and Sutton GLA member Steve O'Connell launches new report in pubs
Sutton and Croydon's man at City Hall has made a rallying cry to save the local pub in a new report.
Steve O'Connell said there should be a limit on the number of shops selling alcohol at the launch of Keeping Local: How to save London's pubs as community resources.
In the report, Mr O Connell claims councils should help keep public houses as such, and tighten up rules around their redevelopment and demolition.
He said: "Good pubs are vital, vibrant centres for their communities. The social impact of the community minded pub impacts beyond its walls.
"It is a place where people can congregate safely as part of a community and can help rid our streets of anti-social drinking in public places, drunken violence and intimidation.
"As well as fostering a sense of community, the pub industry creates tens of thousands of local jobs and acts as ‘anchors’ drawing other businesses into the area."
The report said councils should ensure every effort is made to preserve a pub, as well as looking at the wider impact of its closure, both cultural and visual, as well as its historical importance.
In London, over 1,300 pubs have closed in the last decade - including 400 that have been demolished.
The report states: "Unfortunately, a high number of these pubs are demolished or converted to other uses such as residential, retail, and professional services which radically alter community spaces and change the tone of the high street."
It comes as two former pubs in Sutton, The Angel on Angel Hill, and the Woodman on Lower Road are set to become Tesco supermarkets.
In the report, it encourages council to limit the number of high street shops selling alcohol, claiming that a shift of emphasis away from cheap off-licence alcohol could allow areas to "embrace the sociable drinking model of the community pub."
The report cites the success of The Hope in Carshalton, which in May 2010 was bought by a group of staff and regular customers and has gone on to thrive, winning several Campaign for Real Ale awards in the process.