On Friday (9th October), the Member of Parliament for Witham, Priti Patel, and Witham Northern’s Conservative candidate, Ross Playle, visited The Square & Compasses in Fuller Street, Fairstead. They dropped by for a chat with landlord Victor Roome about how his business is coping in the face of Covid-19 restrictions.
Mr Roome gave Priti a tour of the pub and then they had a long discussion about how The Square & Compasses has survived lockdown and how the changes to social distancing regulations are affecting his business.
Commenting after her visit, Priti said: “There is no doubt that businesses in the hospitality sector are finding it particularly difficult to cope with the continuing restrictions. Obviously, the Government has to take into account both public safety and the needs of businesses that have to make money in order to survive. It is a difficult balancing act. It was very interesting to hear from the front line how things are going.”
Victor Roome said: “I am very pleased that Priti has taken time out of her busy schedule to come and see for herself how we are getting on and to listen to my concerns about the restrictions, particularly in regard to the 10pm curfew and the rate at which freehouses are being lost. We all have to do our bit in the current crisis but care needs to be taken at the top level to ensure that businesses like ours can and do survive in the long term.”
Ross Playle added: “Whilst it is of course absolutely vital each and everyone of us does all we can to keep the virus under control, business owners like Victor, and the whole of the hospitality sector, have put huge considerable amounts of time and money into ensuring they operate in a COVID-secure way. Pubs act as community hubs for many of the villages in our area and we must support them through this difficult period so that they can continue and keep providing that important public service to local residents.”