Monday, March 17, 2008

RE: Marston's rent rebel surrenders lease

Cracking post Alastair. If everyone took heed of legal advice they've been given they'd never sign a tied lease in the first place. There is no choice in this market - the PubCos own everything - and people believe that their solicitor must have it wrong - all those pubs out there can't be failing can they? And besidees 'we'll do it better than the rest and make it work' is what inspires people to get into this game.

Ken, really I agree with you about not breaking contract. No argumanet whatsoever, and I have no illusion about where responsibility lies in making a business work - any business MUST make a profit or it's simply not a business.

There is room for the big boys to make a profit and still leave something for the people who, in the end, are actually running their business for them - the licensees.

EVEN in this market of shrinking beer drinking habits and no smoking pubs still should be able to play a key role in their communities by being a hub, a place for congregation, a place to meet neighbours you'd never otherwise have a chance to meet. This can apply whether in a village or a major conurbation. It's about community, about sense of place and local identity, Britishness, it should be about the essence of successful society.

Corporate greed has removed anything other than financial value from the operational map of big PubCos. The only value is balance sheet and shareholder. Sustainabilty is not a concept they recognise. Short term, high returns are all that matters. It was not ever so.

Pubs need to be weel run in order to stay open. They cannot be well run if there's no profit left for reinvestment by the lessee and no incentive for the lessee to work harder if, as a result of their extra effort they see their income increase, it is simply tranferred to the PubCos bank account at the next rent reivew.

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