Friday, February 20, 2009

Hi Ladies and Gentlemen of the free world... Thanks again for wanting to save the Great British pub.
I’m asking you to go a step further now and help save Inez Ward, the woman who set up this great cause. Inez has been under a huge amount of pressure in a battle with Enterprise Inns over her pub.
In short Inez took her freeholder to court last year on charges of harassment and lost. Their costs are over £11,000 whereas Inez’ costs were her time and reading up on her position. She could not afford legal representation and genuinely believed she had solid grounds for winning because of the freeholder’s behaviour toward her. Enterprise is now demanding the money and if she cannot pay she will be made bankrupt. She’s waiting for the outcome of a set aside application right now...
I want to help keep Inez in her pub and I hope you do too. I am involved with the Fair Pint Campaign, mentioned in the last message, which has a steering group of pub licensees and industry experts who work entirely voluntarily who believe passionately in campaigning to make the tied pub industry fairer for everyone. We want to support Inez, because she’s a good woman, because she has stood up for the things we believe in, because she’s been fighting for things which most people in the same situation would have given up on by now, and because she represents what happens to thousands of other licensees across Britain who have been struggling to make a living because the conditions of the tie impose a situation where the pubcos make MILLIONS and the people who pull the pints live like slaves. This HAS TO END and fairness has to prevail.
I am donating £100 to the Inez Ward Aid fund. I posted this situation on the Morning Advertiser website last Friday and by the middle of the week had pledges of £4000 from people who post there. Now we have a PayPal account set up for donations. The aim is to quickly raise at least £20K initially which will accommodate payment of Inez’ statutory demand and provide her with some much needed high quality legal advice. Any money over target will be kept in the fund to pay for legal and expert advice to support licensees in a legally defendable position of inequity and unfairness with their pubcos where they cannot afford to fight legal battles and where legal precedents can be set which will then help thousands of others in like situations. Anything after that, if we get that far, will be used to support establishing a representative body for pub licensees – there is no one talking and standing up for them now.
Please think about donating at least a modest amount, say the price of a pint or £3.00 minimum. If enough of us club together and put a small amount in there’ll be a big enough fighting fund that really will help save the Great British Pub. I promise you that you’ll be kept updated about anything that happens that’s significant and promise too that any money you donate will be used only as described. Don’t worry, the maximum number of emails you can be sent is three a week!
It’s been going on for a long time... the many tied licensees here will already know a lot about the kind of experiences she’s had with them, as I do! The majority of pubs in Britain are tied. This means they are rented from property companies by licensees who run the pub as their own business. The property companies call themselves ‘pubcos’. The biggest of them have NO brewing interests but their licensees are obliged to buy their beer through the terms of their lease which is ‘tied’ i.e. beer is bought through the property company’s supply chain at wholesale prices set by the pubcos. Pubcos charge their licensees at least DOUBLE what the beer would cost them if they could buy outside the tie on the open market. A case of Becks, for example, bought through the tie today would cost you £28+vat but you could go to a cash and carry and buy the same case for £12. IF you went to the cash and carry though you’d be in danger of being caught ‘buying out’ and you could lose your pub, your home, and whatever earnings you’re managing to make out of a business where your wholesale prices are two to three times more than your competitors.

charge too much for rent and far too much for beer... Inez has had the audacity to stand up to them, they didn’t like it and applied pressure, everything legal and above board (ring any bells tied lessees?)

a long story but in shortshe tooke them to court with

s is an appeal

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