Er zullen binnenkort in Wales nog nauwelijks pubs te vinden zijn, zegt de secretaris van de LVA, de horeca-organisatie van dit deel van Groot-Brittannië. Hij verwacht dat er de komende 6 maanden 100 pubs de deuren moeten gaan sluiten. Hij wijt dit direct aan de invoering van het rookverbod in Wales.
Het rookverbod in Wales is van kracht vanaf 1 april 2007. Dus na meer dan een jaar rookverbod is er nog steeds niet de door de anti-rokenlobby voorspelde verbetering ingetreden.
A Welsh pub trade chief has claimed around 100 pubs in the valleys could shut in the next six months – mainly due to the smoking ban.
John Price, secretary of the Licensed Victuallers Association in Wales, told thepublican.com: “I’ll give us six months and you won’t see many pubs left in the valleys at all.”
He said many older people were not prepared to go outside for a cigarette, since the ban was introduced in April 2007.
“It’s the weather. Old people will not go outside if it’s raining,” he added.
“And the areas that don’t have passing trade are the ones that are really in trouble”.
Price said that seven pubs in Swansea had closed recently and nightclubs were suffering as well.
Rising overheads and utilities were also a reason for the negative on the trade, Price said.
He pointed the finger at the government, saying: “Somebody has to think about what they are doing to help pubs out. They have never said how they are going to help us.”
Price, licensee of the Bush Inn, in Clydach Vale, also expressed fears that councils would be stepping up their monitoring of pubs with regard the legislation.
“It’s going to go haywire from now on,” he said. “But if you are serving behind the bar you can’t be in the toilet watching everybody’s movements.”