Drinkers and pub-goers in East Anglia can have their say on the future of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) this Saturday when one of its 50 consultation meetings taking place around the country is staged in Peterborough.
CAMRA, which is one of the largest single-issue consumer groups in Europe, is gathering views from as many as possible of its nearly 180,000 members as part of its Revitalisation Project – a strategic review of the organisation’s purpose and structure.
In what is the first consultation meeting to be staged in the East Anglia region, CAMRA members will be heading for the Brewery Tap in Westgate – where the event will take place on Saturday 18 June, from 1.30 to 3.30pm.
Chair of the Peterborough branch of CAMRA, David Murray, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming a good attendance of CAMRA members from the local area and beyond. This is a wonderful opportunity to contribute towards important decisions about the future direction of the campaign.”
All around the country there’s been incredible interest in the consultation. More than 20,000 members nationwide completed the survey (online and by post) to offer their views on where they think CAMRA should be heading.
The Revitalisation Steering Committee representative at the meeting will be James Lynch, a former chairman of CAMRA and founding member who also at one time ran his own brewery.
The rise of “craft beer” and a resurgence of interest in beer in recent years, plus renewed threats to pubs, have challenged CAMRA to review its campaigning strategy for the future.
It may be that members decide CAMRA’s current purpose – campaigning for real ale, cider and perry – is still relevant but other options for consideration include becoming a consumer organisation for all beer drinkers, all pub-goers regardless of what they drink, or even all alcohol drinkers, regardless of where they drink it.
CAMRA founder member and Revitalisation Project chairman Michael Hardman said: “This could mark a fundamental turning point for the Campaign for Real Ale.
“It’s a chance for our members to tell us who we should represent in the future and for what we should be campaigning for.
“Every effort is being made to consult with as many as possible of our members to ask them who and what we should represent in the future.”
He added: “If you care about beer and pubs but haven’t got round to joining yet, we still want to hear from you! Come along to one of our events. If you’re not already a member you can still come along to a meeting if you join CAMRA on the door.”
CAMRA members can sign up to attend one of the meetings by logging on to www.camra.org.uk/revitalisation
Don’t worry if you cannot attend this one, there are other meetings in East Anglia and the surrounding regions you could attend: Leicester 23 June, Doncaster and Lincoln 20 August, Norwich 3 September, Milton Keynes 8 September, Shrewsbury 10 September, Derby 21 September and St Albans 27 September .