Dudley MP Ian Austin has called on Government Ministers to support talks on the future of the Seven Stars pub in Sedgley.
Speaking in the House of Commons during Community and Local Government Questions, Austin called on Ministers to support talks between Marston’s, Morrisons and local campaigners on the future of the pub.
Campaigners are working to protect the local pub after Morrisons announced a desire to buy the pub and turn it into a supermarket.
Austin has written to Marston’s and Morrisons urging them to meet with local people and is working with Dudley Council to offer the pub further protection as an “Asset of Community Value”.
Speaking in the debate, Ian Austin said:
“The popular, successful and profitable Seven Stars in Sedgley is threatened with closure because Marston’s and Morrisons are discussing turning it into a supermarket.
“Does the Secretary of State agree with me that they ought to accept my invitation to meet local residents concerned about the loss of the pub and the impact this would have on traffic, parking and businesses in the nearby town centre?
“And is it possible to introduce tougher rules so that planning permission is always required before a pub is demolished or converted?”
Kris Hopkins MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, replied:
“Well I think it is appropriate that the businesses concerned should meet your local residents, and that dialogue is absolutely appropriate.
“I think government has given powers to councils under Article 4 and actually under the community right to bid mechanism
“If in your community you have a treasured asset which you want to recognise as a community asset you can register with your local council and give some protection to that.”
“But I do welcome your participation and that dialogue with your local business.”