THE landlord of one of Chipping Norton’s oldest pubs has appealed for David Cameron to pay him a visit and answer questions about the challenges facing the pub trade.
Jim Hopcraft, who runs the Chequers Inn in Chipping Norton, has said he would like to show his MP and Prime Minister just how difficult it is to keep a pub going in the current economic climate and help persuade him to introduce more favourable laws for publicans.
He also plans to create a feature video about his pub which he hopes Mr Cameron will watch.
Mr Hopcraft said: “Each month is touch and go at the moment and we just about keep ourselves afloat. We’ve only just enough money to pay the VAT and nothing left in the account after that.
“I would very much like for him to come down and sit and answer some questions about the pub trade.
“I’d like him to see all the different aspects of running a pub, from the cellars right up to serving the end product.
He added: “As our MP he should be looking after the interests of all businesses in Chipping Norton.”
The father-of-two said laws being planned by the Coalition Government to fix minimum prices for alcohol sold in supermarkets will have little impact.
“It won’t make any difference to us,” he said.
“They need to go further than that and look at the way alcohol is available. It used to be difficult to get alcohol outside a pub and local pubs were the centre of communities where people could learn to drink in a safe environment.”
Mr Hopcraft, who previously ran pubs in Witney, Reading and Bristol, says high business rates, supermarket sales and VAT on food are all hindering trade.