A VILLAGE pub, whose owners said they fear losing their business to the pandemic, claim they are “still waiting” for support to pay into staff pensions each month.

Chris and Amanda Lillitou, who run The Jolly Cricketers pub in the village of Seer Green, asked the leader of Buckinghamshire Council, Cllr Martin Tett, how they should pay their staff without proper support.

The couple said previously they had lost around £50,000 this year due to ‘forced closures’ in light of the pandemic – and that they had received just one £3,000 grant from Buckinghamshire Council.

READ MORE: Village pub fears for its future after receiving just one £3k payment from council during pandemic

While Local Restrictions Support Grants are available, it now appears the couple will have to wait until the new year for additional support from central government.

Bucks Free Press:

“Even though your staff are on furlough you have to pay their PAYE, their pension. That’s £3,000 each month we have to find,” said Mrs Lillitou.

She added: “I think…there has to be more compensation for a forced closure…based on loss of earnings – surely that’s fair?

“Every time we lockdown and reopen it costs us thousands.”

In a recent tweet, the pub asked: “@MATatBucks please can you advise how we should pay @HMRCgovuk PAYE on furlough when we have no income and inadequate government support?

“It’s a nightmare for all. We will be OK with adequate support from the government. Still waiting.”

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A spokesperson for Buckinghamshire Council said: “From 2 December the pub (provided it stayed open and sold food and was severely affected by the restrictions) can apply for a Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open).

“This will amount to £1,050 per fortnight. The application can be made on the council’s website.

“Further grants will also be available now that Buckinghamshire has moved into tier four and the pub is required to close.

“For this new round of grants we are awaiting further guidance from central government. It is likely that these will become available very early in the new year.”

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