THE NEW MANAGER of a Rubery pub has hit back at claims that the venue is an eyesore and in much need of a face-lift.
Raella Balnchette, the manager of the New Rose and Crown, said since taking over around seven months ago she had worked hard to build up its reputation as a community pub.
And she added she had recently organised and hosted several fund-raising events to involve local familes from the village.
So far staff and regulars at pub have raised almost £600 for St Mary’s Hospice.
The charity is close to Raella’s heart and after her sister had passed away in March, rather than have flowers at her funeral, £200 was donated by mourners.
A few weeks ago staff also roped in one of the locals to do a charity bike ride which saw a further £400 collected for the cause.
And last weekend the pub also held a charity car wash and cake sale – donations from the event are still being counted.
Raella said: “It is a bit tatty from the outside but in the last few months we have spent a lot of time tidying and cleaning up the inside of the pub.
“We have become all about the local community and the local people in it.”
Raella’s defence of the venue came after criticism from Coun Peter McDonald who said for far too long the ‘shabby public house’ had been a blot on Rubery’s landscape.
He added the run down New Rose and Crown, one of the village’s oldest buildings, gave visitors completely the wrong impression as it was the first thing they saw when entering Rubery.
He said the owners had an obligation to maintain its appearance.
“I have asked the owners on number occasions to give the pub a much-needed face-lift to improve its appearance so visitors will see Rubery for what it is – the gateway to the Lickey Hills.”
The pub is currently up for sale and the owners have said they will not be doing any refurbishment or cosmetic work to the site as they were selling it on from their estate.
Coun McDonald said: “I am somewhat at aghast the owners have made it clear they will not improve the appearance of the pub as it is up for sale.
“This shows complete contempt for the people of Rubery and a complete disregard for a building of such historic interest.”