Norwich landlady to quiz MPs on the state of the pub industry
A Norwich pub landlady has been invited to the Labour Party's annual business reception where she will get to quiz leaders Ed Milliband and Ed Balls about the state of the industry.
Dawn Hopkins, landlady at the Ketts Tavern in Ketts Hill and the Rose in Queens Road, will attend the event next Tuesday at the Chartered Architects Hall in central London.
Mrs Hopkins was a keen supporter of the City of Ale event in Norwich earlier in the year, when she met Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins, who was due to take part in the festival's pub debate, before he was ill.
She said: 'Toby Perkins is a big advocate for pubs and he was behind me getting the invitation. Hopefully I will get to speak to Labour leader Ed Milliband and the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, and other MPs to talk about pubs.
'There are several issues I'm keen to talk about. One is the need to get a level playing field with supermarkets, who can sell drinks at much cheaper prices than pubs.
'We also have an issue with business rates. Pubs are charged differently to any other businesses, and then there's the beer duty escalator.'
She is also keen to talk about issues surrounding employees' rights at pubs.
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She added: 'I've got no issues with minimum wages, holidays, etc., for staff, but employing staff is now the biggest cost for small businesses like my own.
'Something needs to be done about the rules, as it's not good for job creation, especially with the number of young unemployed people at the moment.'
The Evening News has been urging people to return to pubs in our Love your Local campaign.
To see more stories from the campaign visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal.
Have you got a story about your landlord/landlady in Norwich? Call David Bale on 01603 772427 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.