AS many of our Coffey Time readers will know, I’m a keen protector of our historic pubs.

As a member of CAMRA, I recently received this excellent news from their headquarters.

It read: “Today marks a historic win for pub-goers, consumers and CAMRA members.

“After years of campaigning led by CAMRA’s membership, the Government has today announced a historic change in the law to protect all English pubs in the planning system.

“This removes a long-standing loophole that has enabled developers to demolish pubs or convert them to another retail use without applying for planning permission.

“This is a huge success which could not have been achieved without you. Together, we have sent over 8,000 emails to politicians in the last three months alone. The voice of CAMRA members like you was essential in securing this win for pubs.

“All pubs in England will now be given the protection they deserve, and owners will always have to apply for planning permission before they can convert or demolish a pub.

“Although this change comes too late for the thousands of pubs already lost, it will be crucial to supporting all the great pubs which remain for generations to come.”

I am on St Helens Council’s weekly e-mailing circulation list of planning applications, so I will now get early warnings of such threats. Email me if you want me to alert you to such pub items.

Meanwhile, Historic England has announced they have “published updated guidance on Land Contamination and Archaeology”.

The guidance has been updated in response to the increase in brownfield redevelopment and to reflect current legislation, planning policy and guidance that is relevant to contaminated land and archaeology.

It read: “This guidance is intended to offer advice primarily to those involved in the assessment and management of land contamination, but also to archaeologists, planning and archaeological officers, and developers and their consultants.

“It aims to raise awareness of the need to consider archaeology during land contamination assessment and management.”

Considering archaeological remains tell us so much of our local history, and considering that we have dug so many holes in the borough over the past decades, I am disappointed so little is on local display.

Metal detectorists and others should report any finds to Vanessa Oakden, Finds Liaison Officer for Cheshire, Greater Manchester & Merseyside. Museum of Liverpool, Department of Archaeology, Pier Head, Liverpool Waterfront, Merseyside, L3 1DG. Call 0151 478 4259 or

n The Star has been conducting an online survey about where the best pie shop in town is. Looking at bygone times, I am curious about where you think the best local pie shop ever was located.

You can include chippies or other outlets as one of my favourite exotic meals is still pie and chips.

If my carer, who calls at lunchtime to make me a meal, amongst other things, has come in a car, I send them to the chippy!