District mayor and Campaign for Real Ale launch scheme to protect historic pubs

Pub lovers in the West Midlands are being encouraged to help protect the region's historic pubs as part of a ‘List Your Local' campaign.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) have joined forces in the wake of the Crooked House fire and demolition to ensure that value pubs at risk are properly protected.

As part of the initiative, residents are encouraged to submit pubs they believe are of historical significance via the WMCA website: https://www.wmca.org.uk/what-we-do/protecting-our-pubs/.

The WMCA and Camra have already drawn up a target list of suitable heritage pubs which, alongside public recommendations, will be considered on a case-by-case basis to see if and how they can be protected.

One of the pubs identified includes The New Inn, in Erdington, where regulars are campaigning to save the pub from property developers.

Options include heritage listing, community value listing asset or community property.

Commenting on the plan, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “Protecting our local pubs is not just about keeping the bricks and mortar. it's about protecting the heart and soul of our communities.

“That's why we've teamed up with Camra to take action following the Crooked House case to ensure there's no repeat of a much-loved pub at risk of consigning itself to history.

“We think we've already identified some of the most at-risk historic pubs in the area, but we need people to give us their recommendations to make sure we're helping to protect the right places.”

Gary Timmins, director of pub and club campaigns at Camra, said: “The complete destruction of the iconic Crooked House pub has brought a national scandal to the forefront of people's minds.

“Developers continue to flout the rules with pubs being regularly converted or demolished without permission, denying people the chance to save their area.”

Marco Longhi, the Conservative MP for Dudley North, is campaigning for a new law to better protect heritage sites after the Crooked House fire in neighboring South Staffordshire.

He said: “The events surrounding Crooked House have shed light on our current frameworks and it is clear that change is needed.

“I am delighted that Mayor Andy Street is lending his support to bring about change and I look forward to working with him and his team. This campaign is a great idea and I would like to create a more appropriate listing system with broader protections that go beyond listings.”