REDDITCH’S MP Karen Lumley recently shared a pint and a chat with Paul Richards from the Redditch and Bromsgrove branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) in Westminster.

They met to discuss CAMRA’s aim to scrap the beer tax escalator which sees tax on beer increase by 2 per cent above inflation every year.

Mrs Lumley said: “I was pleased to meet with Paul to listen to the concerns about how the beer tax escalator is affecting pubs in Redditch.

“This year saw beer duty paid to Government increase by only 0.3 per cent, with forecasts showing that this will remain static over the next two years. It is important we acknowledge this and assess whether this tax is conducive to creating jobs and encouraging responsible drinking.

“Britain has such a long tradition of pubs being at the heart of the local community. It is my view that they are more than just places to drink alcohol but also places to meet friends, socialise and for people to bond.

“I now look forward to visiting the annual CAMRA beer festival at the Rocklands on February 1 where I am hoping to help out as a member.”