Pub landlords and campaigners joined forces with their MP in November to strive for their pubs’ future existence.

Save St Albans Pubs, a campaign group launched in 2017 against the hikes in business rates, met Anne Main to discuss reforming the tax.

Rates were raised last April, increasing the amount paid in tax for 27 out of St Albans’ 37 pubs.

Alan Oliver, owner of The Six Bells in St Michaels’ Street, said: “We want the way that pub business rates are calculated to be scrapped and started again.

“It is punishing in such a high price area like St Albans.

“Pubs cannot survive like this.”

Several St Albans pub owners and supporters of the campaign took Mrs Main on a walk around all of the pubs that have been affected by the increase.

Mr Oliver, 33, added: “She seemed supportive and interested in our fight so hopefully something happens.”

After she toured The Blacksmiths Arms, The Beech House, The Boot, Dylans, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks and The Six Bells, Mrs Main said: “When you see the effect of the business rate rise, it’s depressing. “The tax formula at the moment is not recognising the variety we have.”

She added: “Save St Albans Pubs have been doing a fantastic job of campaigning on this issue and I was delighted to visit many of the great pubs we have in St Albans and to have the opportunity to hear first-hand what impact business rates could have on their business.

“It’s clearly unacceptable and unfair. I will be doing everything I can to raise this issue with ministers in the Treasury and I will be lobbying for changes to these rules. I will also be requesting a debate in Parliament on this issue so other MPs can share their concerns with ministers about the impact of rates on our pubs.”