06:00PM, Thursday 26 April 2018
A much-loved pub landlord has been dismissed and three of his tenants, including a seven-month-old baby, will be evicted from an Oakley Green pub next week.
Marc Hunter, landlord of Ye Olde Red Lion, has been told he is being removed from his role by the pub’s owner Punch Taverns. He and his tenants must leave by Monday after receiving 10 days’ notice.
Mr Hunter has managed the pub since December 2015, putting on gigs, charity events, and becoming a popular figure among the community.
He said: “I was shocked when I found out I had to quit. My number one priority became my staff and my lodgers.
“Everyone in the community loves the pub, these companies are killing the local communities.”
The future of the pub remains unclear, but Mr Hunter’s five part-time staff members will lose their jobs and are not set to continue under any potential new management.
The tenants above the pub and their young child were given 10 days to leave the property, where they have lived since before Mr Hunter took over in 2015.
The pub was listed as an Asset of Community Value when regulars expressed an interest in putting together a bid to buy it when it was put up for sale in 2016.
Campaigners still want to save the pub and formed the Ye Olde Red Lion Action Group on Facebook this week.
It has already amassed more than 700 members.
Imelda Josling, a member of the action group, said: “Marc has been the most wonderful manager and has brought the pub back to life. It’s shabby treatment of a landlord everyone adores, we want to keep that pub going and keep Marc going.
“Are they blind? Can they not see what he has done for this pub?
“We don’t want Marc to go, but wherever he goes, we will follow.”
A Punch Taverns spokeswoman said: “Following a review of the pub business and long-term sustainability within the Punch estate, we can confirm that notice has been provided.
“Our publican has been operating under the terms of a Tenancy at Will agreement which has no notice period for either party.”
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