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Richard Benyon met with Andy Pinkard, Chair of West Berkshire CAMRA, in Parliament this week, following the welcome news in the autumn Budget that duty on beer, cider and spirits has been frozen for another year.

Richard said: ‘Pubs play a pivotal role in local communities across the UK in so many ways and I’m pleased to see the Chancellor continue to support them in this respect.

‘1500 people are employed in the beer industry in West Berkshire alone and pubs in this area pay around £27 million in tax if you take NI, PAYE, VAT and duty into account, as well as spending around £5.5 million on renovations and repairs.

‘They not only provide a great service in terms of food and drink but they also offer a valuable space for people to meet, helping to tackle loneliness and generating a sense of community.’

‘I’m fortunate to have several excellent breweries in my constituency and I understand that there are now over 80 pubs serving beer from breweries within a 25 mile radius. I would like to congratulate West Berkshire CAMRA for its campaigning work and also pay tribute to the three pubs that have shared the award for West Berkshire Community Pub of the Year for 2018: the Cottage Inn in Upper Bucklebury, the Old London Apprentice and the Cow & Cask, both in Newbury.’