The model turned pub landlord Jodie Kidd has started a campaign to save British pubs.
The campaign, Long Live The Local, is calling on the Government to reduce the taxes on alcohol, especially pints of beer, to help keep the nation’s pubs open.
Jodie, who owns the Half Moon Inn at Kirdford in West Sussex, joined Eamonn Holmes on Thursday to talk about the campaign. She said: “Basically what it is, is it’s just been creeping up and up and up, and it’s getting to the point now where a pint is costing so much money that it’s not really worth it.
“I mean people will stop going to the pubs because if it’s six or seven pounds, when is it going to end?
“Someone’s got to say; ‘right, listen we could wake up one day in our lifetimes and go where are all the pubs gone?’ It’s not sustainable; we can’t keep going on like this… the taxes are pretty big with the business rates and the VAT.”
Eamonn suggested that alcohol can be as devastating as substance abuse, so the increased taxation could be seen as a way of preventing alcoholism.
However, Jodie argued that it’s more than “just coming down for alcohol’ and that it’s about community and supporting local communities.
“The thing is, the pub, my pub is so much more than that - it’s about the community.
“We’re a massive food pub: our ethos is supporting local producers, local suppliers, half of my staff live in the village, it’s their first job, or they’re cleaning the glasses or I’m bringing them up to become front of house.
“We’re supporting the whole area, it’s so much bigger than people saying, ‘oh people are just coming down for alcohol’, it’s so much bigger.”
She bought the the Grade II listed pub last June after the building became the subject of housing development.
“The Half Moon was actually closed; developers were coming in to turn it into a house, so I and two of my friends answered the call, and couldn’t let this pub close.
“Three British pubs close a day and that’s about a thousand a year.”
Shocked by her statement, Eamonn asks again: “Three pubs close every day in the UK?”
To which she responds: “Yes, absolutely.”