MP Andrew Selous is backing a petition set up by a community group in Dunstable to keep The Bird in Hand as a pub.
Dunstable North Community, made up of people who regularly visited the pub on High Street North, set up the petition to give to Central Beds Council planners following the closure of the pub on Sunday, November 25.
The petition, Keep the Bird in Hand a Pub, was set up on Friday and already has 489 signatures online.
A spokesman for the group said: “The local community do not have any other easily accessible family pubs, with food and atmosphere, in the north end of Dunstable. We do not want the pub to be mothballed like so many other Dunstable pubs (such as the First & Last) or handed to developers who change its use or run out of money (The Bull, The Priory, Saracens Head, Winston Churchill).
“We want Central Beds Council to fully appreciate the community value of such a facility at the north end of Dunstable. With more houses being planned for North Dunstable a good pub with a good landlord will be fully supported by our local community.
“We want to get as many signatures as possible and make the council aware that we do not want to see the building as anything other than a pub for the community. For now we are just raising awareness and the petition will go to the planning department at the council. We will be keeping a watch on any planning applications submitted.”
Andrew Selous, MP for South West Beds, is supporting their campaign. He said: “I strongly support the Dunstable North Community’s campaign to have the Bird in Hand pub registered as a community asset. Places where people can come together to socialise, are an important part of building a strong community.
“I have urged the Bird in Hand’s supporters to contact people in Tebworth who managed to have the Queen’s Head pub designated a community asset after there was concern that their much-loved village pub would close.”
Central Beds Council were unable to comment on the petition as no planning applications have been submitted for the site. But they did say that they had given Saracen’s Head money from their capital budget.
A spokesperson for the council said: “I can confirm that we gave the Saracen’s Head almost £22,000 from our £1 million High Street Improvement Scheme fund towards a new entrance door, new yard gate and windows, new signs, and for the exterior to be fully repainted. We also had talks with the Old Sugar Loaf about a similar renovation project, but they decided not to participate in the scheme.”
To sign the petition visit: https://tinyurl.com/y9elyc9p