MP calls for Norwich pub to be reopened
PUBLISHED: 23:14 07 June 2011 | UPDATED: 07:36 08 June 2011
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An MP has called on the owner of a closed pub in Hellesdon to reopen it – and has offered to host any meetings to achieve this.
Norwich North MP Chloe Smith met Simon Townsend, the chief operating officer of Enterprise Inns, at Parliament today to talk about the future of the Bull at Hellesdon.
The pub shut its doors in April when landlord Patrick Cutter quit after failing to reach an agreement with Enterprise Inns about a rent review. The issue is yet to be resolved and the Reepham Road pub has also been targeted by vandals.
After the meeting, Miss Smith said: “I told Mr Townsend that locals were concerned about the Bull including the effect of it being an empty site. Vandalism has been reported at the site and locals have raised concerns that other issues could arise.
“I was clear that we all want it back in operation as the hub of the community, which Enterprise accepts, and I think wants to see as well. I was clear in addition that pub companies need to talk constructively with their tenants, and in this case sit around the table as soon as possible.
“I have offered to host further local meetings for this to be resolved.”
Mr Townsend said afterwards: “I was grateful that Chloe Smith took the time to share her views and concerns for the well-being of pubs in her constituency, and that we look forward to working with all stakeholders in the local community to promote the success of our pubs in the greater Norwich area.”
Meanwhile, Mr Cutter, who had been landlord for 13 years, said he now wanted the dispute to be resolved, but he said he would not be interested in returning to the pub if it reopened.
He said: “I will not work for Enterprise Inns again. I don’t trust them and I don’t like the way they operate, certainly the way they have treated me.
“But my biggest interest is to get the pub open again for the community. I have a great affection for the pub and the customers.”
The Evening News has been urging customers to help pubs in our Love your Local campaign.
For more stories from the campaign visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/ loveyourlocal.
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