HC Deb 05 March 1999 vol 326 c1408

Order for Second Reading read.

2.28 pm
Mrs. Ann Winterton (Congleton)

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.

The British public house is a unique institution that has survived and developed over the centuries. It is part of the social fabric of not only the nation, but, perhaps more importantly, each and every local community. Many hon. Members and I are concerned about the increasing trend to develop so-called theme pubs, which have little or nothing to do with a locality's history and are usually given rather trendy, trite standard names. Traditional names, such as the King's Head, the Royal Oak and the Coach and Horses, have fascinating historical links, giving a particular locality a direct link to its past and, importantly, to its identity.

The Bill would amend the Licensing Act 1964 to include the name of a public house in the licensing conditions, thereby making it possible to change the name of a public house only after proper consultation with the local community via the planning authority and its statutory regulations.

I hope that the Bill will bring to a halt the McDonaldisation of public house names before it is too late—

It being half-past Two o'clock, the debate stood adjourned.

Debate to be resumed on Friday 12 March.