A local resident in Bickley has launched a campaign to save The Widmore pub, which recently closed its doors after being sold by Punch Taverns.
Further information of this campaign can be found here:
Following news of The Widmore’s closure, Bob Neill MP wrote to the Chief Executive of Punch Tavers, the former owners of the pub, outlining his disappointment at the manner in which the pub was sold. The text of Bob’s letter can be found below.
21st June 2011
I am writing in my capacity as the constituency Member of Parliament for Bromley and Chislehurst about the recent sale of the Widmore Pub in Bickley.
Whilst Punch Taverns is perfectly entitled to dispose of assets as it sees fit, I was disappointed not to be informed of this sale until news of it reached me via a constituent’s letter last week. It would have been appreciated and courteous if my office had been given prior notification by Punch Taverns, because its sale does have an impact on my work both as the local Member of Parliament and as the Minister with responsibility for pubs.
What makes this particular case all the more disturbing is that I visited the Widmore Pub with representatives of Punch Taverns less than five months ago to highlight the important role of good community pubs.
I am firmly of the view that selling viable local pubs should be a last resort and, as you will know, the Government is making legislative changes to ensure that community organisations have a fair chance to bid to take over those that are important to them. The sale of The Widmore and the manner in which it was undertaken clearly reinforces the need for stronger community powers in the form of a new Right to Buy.
Bob Neill MP