The Conservative MP for Hove and Portslade, Mike Weatherley, helped out at one of Hove’s most popular pubs on Friday night.

Weatherley worked the busy Friday night shift at the Ancient Mariner on Rutland Road in Hove on 3 Friday 2012.

Commenting before undertaking his shift, Mike Weatherley said he was: “really looking forward to helping out at the Ancient Mariner. I know it will be busy but hope that regulars will be patient if I’m not quite as quick the professional staff that usually take orders. Pubs are a really important part of our local economy and deserve our support.”

Weatherley’s shift is to highlight the significance of the pub industry to the local economy and society.

There are currently more than 300 pubs in the Brighton and Hove area, but some are clearly struggling in the current financial situation.

The number of pub closures has more than doubled in the local area in recent times.

The Lost Pubs project has recorded figures that show that pubs are closing at an accelerating rate of 50 each week across the country.

Competition from national pub chains can be seen as one reason for the slowdown of business that local pubs are experiencing.

This was recognised by a cross-party committee of MPs. In an official report they referenced a “history of intimidating behaviour by pub companies”.

With increasingly ‘oligopolistic’ pub companies competing in the local market, it is crucial to support local businesses.

Mike Ireland, one of Mike Weatherley’s researchers, commented that: “pubs are a really important part of our local economy and deserve our support. I hope that residents will enjoy having the chance for their MP to serve them a drink and have a quick chat.”

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