CAMRA launched a hard-hitting campaign in October 2014 to urge the Government to close national planning loopholes.

We recently celebrated a victory, overturning a motion which allowed pubs to be demolished or converted to other retail uses without planning permission.

A 90-vote majority vote by peers in the House of Lords was eventually backed by the Government, and full planning permission will now need to be sought before a pub can be demolished or converted.

Sadly this came too late for some pubs in our area such as the Old Star at Steeton (now a private house), the Victoria on Cavendish Street (permission for shops and flats), and the Stockbridge Arms (fish and chip shop).

We pay close attention to currently closed pubs – such as the Star on North Street – and regularly monitor planning portals and applications.

The struggle is not over for keeping Keighley locals alive: did you know that the average pub pays £140,000 a year in direct taxes?Typically when you spend £4 on a pint of beer in a pub, 15p is business rates, 49p is beer tax, 67p is VAT and a further 15p is other taxes.

Ultimately, it’s consumers like you who pay the price of this tax burden as publicans are forced to put up prices.

In the spring budget the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that beer duty would rise by 3.9 per cent – the first rise in duty in five years. This meant an additional 2p of duty per pint of beer. Another slap in the face for the hard-working publican and cash-strapped consumer.

As mentioned in last month’s column, it is essential that we support our local pubs and breweries. Pubs are vital to our local communities, our economy, and to the British way of life.

However, they are struggling to stay afloat under the heavy burden of tax including beer duty and business rates.

The current business rates model is crippling thousands of pubs every year - which is why CAMRA is calling for an annual £5,000 business rate relief for all pubs in England - a move which would drive custom back to local pubs.

Without your support our valued local pubs will continue to close, so CAMRA nationally has a campaign to ensure local MPs have this important topic firmly in their agendas.

Visit if you want to pledge your support.