Shailesh Vara MP has visited the Palmerston Arms on the Oundle Road in Woodston, Peterborough to give his support to the measures being proposed to ensure the pub can reopen in a COVID secure environment when restrictions are lifted.
The Palmerston Arms is a 400 year old listed stone built local pub, making it one of the oldest pubs in Peterborough.
The pub is situated next to some flower beds on an adjoining road and efforts are being made to work with Peterborough City Council to remove the flower beds to allow more space for customers to sit outside in a safe environment.
Pub landlord, Mr Simon Bond, is in discussions with the Council to progress matters and is being supported by Mr Vara along with Cllr Andy Coles and Andrew Willey who attended the meeting Mr Vara had with Mr Bond outside the premises.
The removal of the flower beds would provide additional space for customers to sit in and unless this additional space becomes available, it will be difficult for the Palmerston Arms to open again.
Following the visit Mr Vara said:
“I was very pleased to meet Simon at the Palmerston Arms and fully support his efforts to increase the area where customers can drink in a safe and secure environment.
“These are extraordinarily difficult times and I am in contact with Peterborough City Council about getting the necessary work done. I hope the Council will take a constructive and flexible approach in dealing with this matter so that the pub can open again.
“I look forward to enjoying a pint at the Palmerston Arms in the near future, along with some of the regulars.”
Cllr Andy Coles added:
“Simon approached me to ask if the flower bed at the side of the pub could be removed so he could start his business up quickly. The Council support this but wanted Simon to fund the works. As the flower bed is on a highway the Council wanted our contractor Skanska to do the work which has been costed at £4000, which Simon can’t afford. I’m grateful for Shailesh Vara MP’s support which will hopefully enable Simon to open up the pub for his customers”.
Mr Simon Bond commented:
“I was very pleased that Shailesh visited the pub and saw first-hand the work we are doing in preparation for opening up again.
“It’s important that we can use the space currently occupied by the flower beds at the side of the pub and I hope that Peterborough City Council will be supportive and help with their removal. This is crucial because otherwise it will be difficult to open while at the same time ensuring that all drinkers are properly socially distanced.”
Andrew Willey added:
“The community working together have made the area a much nicer place to be and it’s just the sort of place to meet up as the lockdown eases.”