THIS week I read of the proposed demolition of a traditional pub, namely, The Albion, in Southwark, south London. The owners, the Albion Pub Co, closed the pub some time ago, and plans have been submitted to replace it with a four-storey block of flats.

Unfortunately, this type action is becoming more and more common. Pubs with commercial potential often stand empty and neglected for long periods of time (mothballed), as owners appear not to care one jot about their immense value within the community.

The reason why I feel it is appropriate to highlight the imminent destruction of this traditional pub, is to reveal, in my opinion, the lack of understanding of the importance of a community hub by the planning committee - and most notably its chairman, councillor Martin Seaton.

Councillor Seaton in a response on social media to the decision to allow the demolition of the pub, said we have to accept changing social habits. And that we are now all better educated about the awful damage alcohol inflicts on our bodies; consequently alcohol consumption has declined.

Hang on councillor, you appear to be refusing to acknowledge the concerns of the local community and its immeasurable value as a social hub.

The pub is a place to meet and socialise in a warm, welcoming and safe environment. So, allow me below, to highlight these unquestionable qualities in my latest pub experiences.

It was last Sunday afternoon when me and my loyal Labrador, Lucy, visited three local watering holes in Briercliffe, on the outskirts of Burnley. Our first port of call was the Craven Heifer. Guaranteed warm welcome for me and Lucy from landlady, Michelle. The clientele are always so friendly too. Banter in the bar area is guaranteed. It’s a first-class social and drinking experience.

A short walk then to the Commercial. A lovely welcome from bar staff member, Tara. She made a real fuss of Lucy too - and she got a drink before I did. Another friendly, social destination. Tara interacting well the clientele; exchanging friendly banter. A comforting and relaxing pub environment, enjoyed and appreciated.

Our final destination was the Hare and Hounds; another fine social hub within the community. The usual nice, warm welcome from Laura - and friendly abuse from Stef. The hosts have built a fine community spirit in the short period of their tenure.

There are many fine characters here. It was very busy with patrons of all ages enjoying their Sunday afternoon social mix and interaction. Another lovely social environment and pub experience.

The above experiences will be commonplace nationally. It outlines the great importance of the traditional pub and its enormous value to our social enjoyment and wellbeing.

It’s an environment where we feel a sense of inclusion and belonging. It creates a culturally rich and cohesive community. Long may it continue.

Think on, Councillor Seaton, think on. Let us all together fight to save our pubs and their cultural value and traditions.