Two councillors have called for more support for social clubs across Lichfield and Burntwood during the coronavirus crisis.

A Christmas Support Payment scheme has been introduced for pubs where their business does not rely on food sales.

But guidance from Government means that Lichfield District Council has not awarded the wet-led pubs grants to members’ clubs.

Cllr Darren Ennis and Cllr Dave Robertson have co-authored a letter to the local authority’s leader, Cllr Doug Pullen, calling for them to be included in the payment scheme.

Cllr Ennis, Labour representative for Chasetown ward, said the Government needed to offer the same level of support for local businesses as it does for the major pub chains.

“When any support for the hospitality industry comes out during their COVID closure it can be integral to their survival.

“It’s really sad that social clubs are excluded from this grant with no real reason – if anything they are more important to the area as they are truly run by the community for the community and not for profit of an owner or shareholders. “

Cllr Darren Ennis

Cllr Robertson, Labour representative for the Curborough ward said the money was available for the district council to add clubs to the funding scheme.

“This year has been really tough for the hospitality industry and the announcement of the Christmas grants was welcome news for a lot of pubs who have been struggling since March.

“However, the decision by the Government to exclude social clubs from this grant fails to reflect the place they hold in our communities.

“Social clubs aren’t just a place to go and buy a beer – they are run by volunteers for the benefit of their local community.

“The district council has space left in the budget for additional restrictions grants and it has a chance to make sure that it supports social clubs and the great work they do in the area.”

Cllr Dave Robertson

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3 Comments

  1. Looking forward to Lichfield District’s MPs supporting this plea for help for these important community facilities – or at least explain why such clubs were excluded from the grant rules.

  2. Excellent work here from Labour Councillors Dave Robertson and Darren Ennis. Let’s hope that they’re successful in getting the Lichfield District Council Cabinet to close this loophole and get some much needed funds out to these clubs.

  3. Yes, it is just as important not just for small businesses but also the local community organisations to be supported with grants during this crisis. Being at at the centre of the community community these organisations provide an invaluable service. Being closer to residents they are at the nerve centre, more likely to understand residents needs and offer appropriate services. Many residents may feel isolated and may not for whatever reason go to pubs. The survival of community centres is vital.

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