Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, has visited King’s Head Cacklebury pub in Hailsham to discuss the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on wet-led hospitality businesses with the landlady, Helen Lawrence.
King’s Head Cacklebury is a key hub for locals and Helen was awarded the Wealden Hero Award last summer for her invaluable work coordinating the Hailsham Crisis Support Group, a group of volunteers who operated from the pub’s premises and helped with running errands for people in Hailsham and neighbouring areas throughout the pandemic.
The King’s Head is a traditional Harvey's community pub serving locals every day and running an online Pub Shop providing fresh produce and meat as well as home-made pies and quiche slices. Although the pub is now fully reopened for customers to sit indoors as well as in a large enclosed garden, under current Covid restrictions customers must only be served at their table to order, consume and pay.
This poses great difficulties and hinders service for wet-led pubs like the King’s Head Clacklebury, who traditionally operate from behind the bar and are now having to expand staff capacity to adhere to the guidance. Due to social distancing measures, this means that they have half the customers for double the cost.
Nusrat is keen to support Helen and has written to Ministers to urge them to reconsider current restrictions for wet-led pubs. Her letter is available below.
Nusrat Ghani said: “It was lovely to see our fantastic Wealden Hero Helen again and I’m glad she’s brought the issue to my attention. It’s been a tremendously difficult time for our locals, having to cease trading during lockdowns and now operating under tight restrictions. Helen has gone to tremendous lengths to tackle everything from loneliness and isolation to providing meals to the community and ensuring that the King’s Head Clacklebury premises are Covid-safe. It is absurd that current Covid restrictions fail to take the needs of small wet-led pubs into account. The pub is a key hub for locals and I highly recommend their delicious pies, made on-site! I have made representations to the Government and I sincerely hope that we can get the matter resolved urgently.”