They also pointed out how expensive beer is in pubs in various areas of the country, with our patch not as high as Surrey or London, but still at the wrong end of the table. I fear this is just the start with ridiculous nanny state regulation and taxes like VAT going up, and you bet your life they will not reduce the extra tax they slapped on when they cut VAT to 15%. Mark at the Red Lion Histon fears it could put up to a pound on a pint at the pumps.

Going back to the measures that certain brewers and pub companies are taking, they are offering new tenants cut price deals like reducing the initial rent for the first three years. Others are being offered deals on what they can buy away from the brewery, but this tends to be not for the established landlord.

This is all very well, but is like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. What they should be doing is rewarding loyal landlords who have been in the same pub for more than a few years with rent breaks. The government meanwhile should be giving rate reductions to try to save a floundering industry. A drive through Sawston and you will see all the iron curtains. This gives you a clue to the chronic predicament of this particular patient. If help is not given to established landlords, it will only be survival of the very fittest and this can not be allowed to happen.

CAMRA can play its part by organising petitions and haranguing our MPs. It was this column that gave CAMRA the idea of LocAle, so please members, take notice before disaster strikes. Congratulations to Reg who did a magnificent job on the Channel 4 programme the Cutting Edge. For those of you who missed it they were investigating different pubs that go by the name of Red Lion, and Histon was chosen and local customer Reg was brilliant, a real star of stage and screen!

Jerry Brown