Express & Star

Disappointment at lack of pub protection measures in King's Speech after destruction of The Crooked House

The national chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale has said he was disappointed that the King’s Speech, featured nothing about efforts to step up pub protection.

The Crooked House after the fire and before its sudden demolition

Nik Antona said: “It is disappointing that the Government’s agenda for the coming Parliamentary session makes no reference to supporting pubs, brewers, or the wider hospitality industry.

“Earlier this year, in light of the tragic case of the Crooked House in Himley, CAMRA published data showing that potentially unlawful pub demolitions and conversions continue to take place.

“The King’s Speech was an opportunity for the Government to make a firm commitment to pub protection and announce legislation to bolster the planning enforcement tools available to local authorities to deter unscrupulous developers from flouting planning rules.

“Unfortunately, we are still uncertain about whether the Government will act, and they have already ruled out making legislative changes to the Pubs Code, to better balance the relationship between pub companies and their tenants, and to improve consumer choice in the tied pub estate."

Mr Antona is a former member of the Dudley and South Staffordshire branch of CAMRA which takes in Himley.

He added: “Looking ahead to the Autumn Statement, we hope that the Chancellor will take urgent action on energy supply and pricing issues, business rates relief and cutting red tape preventing draught takeaway sales from taking place. We urge anyone who agrees with us to email their MP using our simple e-lobbying tool at”

The Crooked House, which dated back to the 18th Century. was demolished shortly after a fire gutted the pub on August 5.

It emerged that the building was not listed.

Local campaigners want to see the pub, known as Britain's "wonkiest" rebuilt.