9 February 2023
The White Hart Pub, Ashill

Pubs are often at the very heart of our communities and rural heritage, playing a key role in keeping our villages and towns vibrant. We are lucky to have so many fantastic pubs in our corner of Mid Norfolk.

That’s why I always strive to do whatever I can to speak up for and support these wonderful local assets, and why it was such a pleasure to visit yet another Mid Norfolk pub this past Friday – the White Hart at Ashill.

As a former Business Minister and small business owner myself, I know how rewarding it can be to own one’s own business. However, I also know how tough it can be too – and have been acutely aware of how difficult the past few months (and the pandemic before then) have been for so many local companies and entrepreneurs.

Pubs and the wider hospitality sector are just one group that have been hit hard – particularly by the pressures brought on by increased energy prices and the cost of living crisis. It is for that reason that, over recent months, I have been in contact with so many of our local publicans to better understand the challenges they face and ensure I am best placed to be able to speak up on their behalf as part of my regular conversations with ministers and officials at the highest levels.

Jonathan Pearce, owner of The White Hart, was one such publican and, having raised his concerns with colleagues (including the Energy Minister) back in the autumn, I was delighted to have the chance to visit him at the pub in person to catch up and shine a light on his own wonderful business.

It was a pleasure to visit and I remain committed to doing all I can to speak up on behalf of this vital local sector, as well as households and businesses across ALL of Mid Norfolk.

To see more about my historic work supporting local pubs and businesses, please visit my ‘Backing local Businesses’ campaign page here