YEP panel: Why pubs should be the heart of every Leeds community

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A pint at the end of the week, the cheers of football fans and jamming out to bands. These are just some of the simple pleasures of heading down to the local.

But in recent times our watering holes have been hit by increased tax and fewer visitors with more than 50 closing county-wide in first six months of this year.

So this week we put the following question to our Yorkshire Evening Post panelists. Is it important our pubs remain community hubs and how can we keep them alive?

Jim Kirk

Spent many years working the pub and club doors in Leeds. Loved the vibe from the city at night. People letting their hair down at the end of a working week. The youth hoping to spot the love of their life across a crowded room. Never let it fade!

Eva Slingsby

In Leeds I tend to go to Wetherspoons, I love Becketts Bank and The Hedley Verity but do they really count as pubs? I think because there’s much cheaper ways to drink now, pubs will only survive if they’re offering good food and a family atmosphere.

Dennis Appleyard

I met Mrs A at The Grove and our first date was at The Adelphi! But are they local? Not really. The Boundary House at Methley has good food and drinks at puts on special nights on a frequent basis! I think the idea of pubs as community hubs outside small isolated communities may be a thing of the past.

Lyn Facey

The Three Horse Shoes in Oulton is my favourite watering hole because they serve lovely food, the staff are friendly and the atmosphere has an old world pub feel about it. I don't drink alcohol myself but I always enjoy my visits there.

Sophie Mei Lan

I don't drink alcohol but can appreciate a good pub! Especially one that serves good coffee and food (or a good coffee shop that serves good alcohol like The Hepworth Cafe who serves Leeds Craft Ales from independents and gin from Nightingales!) My husband recently took me to Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen in Leeds which was nice and chilled and also I went on a brewery tour with Brewtown Tours which finished off at Northern Monk Brew Co which was ace and really welcoming even for a non-drinker like me. It's sad that communities are dying and I think we should all try to support local independents where possible if we want to keep those places going otherwise we can't complain when they disappear. I love my local churches as good community hubs too.

Indee Watson

Pubs are important community places in Leeds, and it's necessary for them to remain as community hubs. They're brilliant social spaces for such a range of people; families can go for meals, people can drink, and celebrations can be held in pubs. Pubs are very accommodating to such a range of people, and serve well as community hubs.

Natasha Meek

Football and live music are key to keeping pubs alive. As a teenager local music is something that's ever intriguing to me and I love visiting the pub to enjoy quality sounds and socialise. I particularly enjoy a visit to the Golden Lion in Pudsey.

Where are your favourite watering holes in Leeds?

Each week we ask our panelists to answer a topical question. If you want to have your say email Chris.Page@jpimedia.co.uk.