News story

Minister gets his grocery shopping done at local pub

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Residents of Kirkby Overblow in Yorkshire have stepped in to protect their local pub.

Communities Minister Bob Neill got more than a pint and a packet of crisps when he visited a pub in North Yorkshire to see first hand how the community is working together to preserve and protect their local pub’s future.

Bob Neill with the licensees of Tthe pub
Bob Neill enjoys a pint with Kate and David Deacon the licensees of The Shoulder of Mutton.

Visiting The Shoulder of Mutton in Kirkby Overblow Mr Neill met the licensees - Kate and David to hear why they combined the local village shop with the village pub. Kate and David explained the merger created a successful business and also preserved a vital local asset, retaining local employment and providing the community with an important focal point.

The Shoulder of Mutton shop
Entrance to the 'Shoulder Shop'.

Communities Minister Bob Neill said:

“We all know the name of our local pub, and we want to give people the opportunity to run it. They are often at the heart of our rural communities, and play an important role in bringing a community together.

“This government is committed to ensuring that citizens and communities can get on and do things for themselves, which for too long the stranglehold of bureaucracy has stopped.”

Community groups will be given the opportunity to take over closing or failing pubs and run them as community pubs. Under new powers in the Community Right to Build initiative, to be included in the forthcoming Localism Bill, communities will bid to take on local assets and facilities where they are up for sale - giving real power back to them.

There are many great examples of the community stepping in when their pub is under threat:

  • The Old Crown in Hesket Newmarket, Cumbria
  • The Plough Inn, Horbling, Lincolnshire - owned by the parish council
  • The Jolly Farmer in Cookham Dean, Buckinghamshire
  • The Pineapple in Kentish Town, London
  • The Robin Hood in Cragg Vale, West Yorkshire.

More photographs of the visit are available from the DCLG Flickr channel