Friday, May 02, 2008


Beer tie campaign borne from "years of frustration"

2 May, 2008

By James Wilmore

Licensee involved aims to do some "proper political lobbying"

One of the leaders of a new campaign to end the beer tie has revealed he was spurred into action after “years of frustration”.

Mark Dodds, licensee of the Sun & Doves, in Camberwell, South London, told the campaign – A Fair Pint? – was aiming to do some “proper political lobbying”.

It is also planning a publicity stunt outside parliament to officially launch the campaign in the next few weeks.

“What’s been going on for the last 10 years is totally out of order,” Dodds said. “We have been frustrated for years so thought it was about time we did something about it.”

The group is calling for the tie, where licensees must buy beer through their pubco, to be removed from all pubs –except those owned by brewers with 500 pubs or less. It is also asking for the 2004 Trade and Industry Select Committee (TISC) investigation into pubco power to be re-visited.

“We are compiling evidence to send to BERR (the department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) about the TISC inquiry,” Dodds added. “The pubcos have not taken on the recommendations and we have evidence to prove that.”

The group, which claims the reason for the high number of recent pub closures is partly due to the tie, has also enlisted the services of lobbying firm Connect Public Affairs.

It has also written to every MP calling for them to sign Lib Dem Timothy Farron’s early day motion on pubco power.

And Fair Pint members are due to meet John Grogan, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, to discuss the issues raised.

Other names behind the campaign include Freedom for Pubs Association founder Mike Bell, accountant Brian Jacobs, surveyor David Morgan and licensee Steve Corbett.

Dodds added: “Our ultimate goal is to have the tie removed.”

The campaign website is being launched next week at:

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Readers' comments

* Graham Allman 2 May, 2008, 16:28

Free of tie leases , the Holy Grail in leaseing , plenty about if you look at the adverts & web sites of business agents.So why then sign a tied lease agreement , doesnt make sense does it? Great if the pubcos release the tie but just watch out for the FOT market rents, you will probably think that you where better off "tied". Take care of just what you all do, better still get focused back to running your pubs as a business.

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