The Great British Pubco Scam. Pubs are closing all over Britain yet pubs are places that most people love and think fondly of as some of the most significant, treasured, iconic parts of our culture, places to be cherished, nurtured and looked after. Yet they're closing everywhere... WHY? It doesn't make sense does it? Read on...
A bit about me. And a bit about them. And some photographs...
Dear MP of any constuency: Please send this to Vince, who remains un-conned Vince.
of Commons London SW1A 0AA
request for you to support me, and all publicans in the upcoming Pub Industry Statutory
Code of Practice
am your constituent, a publican and tenant of [NAME
I am asking you to help me and thousands of hard working responsible
licensees like me, to persuade Vince Cable to include an essential
'free of tie option' for all tied pub tenants in the Code of Practice; and so create a fair
and free pub market for everyone in Britain.
years successive governments have been seriously concerned that
legislation brought into the pub sector with the 1989 Beer Orders
inadvertently damaged the pub industry against all intentions. In
the last decade four Select Committee enquiries looking at the
relationship between pubco's and their tenants have each found that
pubco's abuse their position of power through manipulation of the
Beer Tie. Each inquiry has recommended that, unless the pubco's
could show they substantially change their unacceptable behaviour
through self regulation, a statutory code of conduct would be
9 January Mr Cable announced six week's of consultation before
government applies final statutory
legislation to the relationship between tied pub companies and their
tenants. When Mr Cable explained why
government decided on this course of action he
said he was “disappointed” that self-regulation had not worked
"Last year we
gave the pubco's one last chance to change their behaviour but it is
clear that the self-regulatory approach was not enough”. Recently
Mr Cable announced: “I
haven’t come to a final view on that (free of tie option). It is
a perfectly good question with strong arguments … and I want the
consultation to provide us with the answer”
tied lease with [Name of Freeholder] obliges me to buy all my beer
from my their list which costs me around double the price I would buy
it for on the open market. Separate to this my rent is higher than
other comparable pubs that are free of tie in our area.
iniquetous situation affects the majority of publicans - around
twenty eight thousand pubs are owned by pubco's and brewers and are
let through the Beer Tie. Because our freeholders take far more of
our pub's profit through rent and beer prices than we do, our pubs
are struggling to stay in business while our freeholders continue to
make £millions, and all over Britain our pubs, vital historical,
cultural and community assets, are closing in ever greater numbers,
Cable also told the House: “There is some real hardship in the pubs
sector... some of this is due to pubco's exploiting and squeezing
their tenants” and he
wants the statutory code “to enshrine the principle that 'tied
lessees should be no worse off than those free of tie'”. This
will only be be achieved if the code includes an option for all tied
tenants to become free of tie at the same time as having an open
market rent review. This would reset the balance of risk and reward
between pubco's and their tenants and create a fairer and freer pub
market for everyone.
help me, and thousands of tied lessees like me, persuade Mr Cable
that the new Pub Industry Statutory Code of Practice must include an
option for all tenants and lessees to opt out of their tied
agreements. This one inclusion will then allow us to buy beer on the
open market at rates which allow thousands of our businesses to
survive the economic crisis.
support in this once in a generation moment is so important not just to me, but to struggling pubs and publicans everywhere.
encourage ask Mr Cable to do the right thing and give tied publicans
a much needed opportunity to operate their businesses while having a
fair chance of making a living.