Battle for The Alma

The Alma

The Alma

The Alma is my business, my home and for the past 11 years everything I do. – Kirsty Valentine

Pubs are destroyed for many reasons, bad landlords for example. They are though in the main, destroyed by pubcos, who are screwing pub landlords, then when the pubs fails, it is sold off for redevelopment.

Pubs are not failing because people sit at home, as a ridiculous article in The Telegraph suggested.

The c 1720s Tumbledown Dick was a popular live music venue until it closed in 2008. Since left to rapidly deteriorate thanks to wilful neglect by Bride Hall and refusal to serve enforcement action by the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor.

The Alma, a Victorian pub in  Newington Green in Islington, was a pub to avoid, until Kirsty Valentine took it over and turned it around from a pub to avoid to a pub to visit, Kirsty Valentine is now facing bankruptcy. Not because she cannot run a successful pub, but because she is being screwed by zombie pubco bully Enterprise Inns. The Alma now faces an uncertain future, possible demolition and redevelopment of the site.

Pubcos screw landlords in two ways

  • overinflated rents
  • overcharging for drinks, which have to be bought from the pubco not on the open market

Kirsty Valentine is forced to pay 40% higher price, than if she bought on the open market. She is also restricted in what she can buy and sell.

If you walk into a pub and wonder why they are selling rubbish when there are great beers around, why you are paying over the odds, then ask are they tied to a pubco, then you will have the answer.

The Alma are not through sitting idly by and letting the pubco walk all over them, they are fighting back.

Part of the Battle to save the Alma, is to seek a listing from Islington as an Asset of Community Value under the Localism Act.

To protect the future of The Alma we want Islington to recognise its status as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) under the Localism Act.  Registration of The Alma as an ACV will ensure that it cannot be sold for non-pub alternative uses without the knowledge of the pubs management or customers and must, by law, be offered to the community to buy it if they wish.
 
Pubs are widely recognised in the planning system as making a positive contribution to the residential conservation areas they sit in, both in terms of their visual appeal and the historic function they perform as meeting places for the communities they serve. ACV registrations are taken into account when planning applications on the building are made and can be grounds for refusal where this would strip the building of its use or result in its demolition.

Tourists come to London for our heritage. Part of that heritage is the traditional English pub, serving real ales and quality food. They do not come for tacky fast food outlets.

Pubs are local businesses, they recycle money within the local economy, support other local businesses.

There is certainly a strong argument to be made for the social and economic value of the community pub. IPPR in a recent report Pubs and Places: the social value of community pubs, placed the wider social value of a sample of community pubs at between £20,000 and £120,000 per pub. It noted that pubs inject an average of £80,000 into their local economy each year, besides their cultural and practical community value.

Please sign the petition calling for The Alma to be designated as an Asset of Community Value under the Localism Act.

The Alma was a battle fought in the Crimean war.

Tags: , , , , ,

One Response to “Battle for The Alma”

  1. keithpp Says:

    Friday morning, The Alma was boarded-up. For Kirsty the loss of her livelihood, the loss of a business she had worked so hard to build up, the loss of her home. For the locals, the loss of their pub.

    https://keithpp.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/the-last-moments-of-the-alma/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: