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More pubs have closed down in Barking and Dagenham than anywhere else in London

PUBLISHED: 17:00 13 July 2018

The White Horse pub in Chadwell Heath closed down last August. Pic: Ken Mears

The White Horse pub in Chadwell Heath closed down last August. Pic: Ken Mears

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More pubs have closed down in Barking and Dagenham in the last 16 years than any other borough in London, according to a new report.

According to data from the Inter-Departmental Business Register, between 2001 and 2017 the borough said goodbye to 25 pubs - a fall of 56per cent.

With just 20 remaining the borough also has the least amount of pubs in London.

Closures include The White Horse pub in Chadwell Heath, which called time on its customers last August after 400 years of serving drinks.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said the government, local authorities and the pub industry need to come together to protect the future of the capital’s pubs.

“The traditional London pub has been at the heart of London’s communities for hundreds of years, but sadly they continue to face a long-term decline in numbers,” he said.

“As mayor, I have made safeguarding and growing London’s night-time economy a priority and am doing all I can to protect the capital’s iconic pubs.

“By creating the most pro-pub planning strategy the capital has ever seen I’ve shown what can be done, and I want to see the government and local authorities match my ambition and help protect these key community hubs for generations to come.”

Neighbouring borough Newham saw a decline of 52pc and in 2017 had 50 pubs, compared to 105 in 2001.

In the same period, pubs in Havering dropped from 85 to 60 - a decline of 29pc.

Geoff Strawbridge, Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) regional director for Greater London, said: “Camra branches would like to see all London boroughs adopting robust pub protection policies in their strategic plans and enforcing them in their planning decisions.

“The mayor’s draft London Plan highlights the importance of London’s pubs as part of our heritage and culture and we commend the efforts of his team in reinforcing his message.”

Although there are many factors contributing to the demise of pubs, including a decline in patrons, campaigning group Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco (Forest) previously said the smoking ban, which came into effect in 2007 in England, had a detrimental impact on the industry.

“Pubs that were already struggling were pushed over the edge when the ban came in,” said Simon Clark, director of Forest.

The number across the capital fell by 2.4pc in the last 12 months of the data set.

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