Friday, October 05, 2018

The Pubs Code Adjudicator

The Pubs Code Adjudicator is called Paul Newby. He is without doubt a pub industry placeman. A selected candidate whose CV should have immediately excluded him from even a moment's consideration for the job. He should never have been appointed. A more inappropriate appointment for the post of tied pub sector policeman could not be conceived save for one of the major pubco CEO's stepping across to the post - but the massive pay drop precluded that ever being a possibility.

Newby on the other hand was senior director at Fleurets - the pubcos estate agent of choice with, conservatively, 20% of its annual revenue derived directly from doing pubco work - selling pubco leases and freeholds and marketing pubco training courses etc... Fleurets' income has been waning in recent years and Newby, along with other directors, has substantial directors' loan to the company which would be under threat of repayment were Fleurets to get into financial difficulties if its income from Pubco were to reduce which, if an independent Pubs Code Adjudicator were in post would be a serious likelihood as the balance of reward would shift from pubcos to their tenants... Newby could leave Fleurets - releasing the company from the burden of paying his salary - his well paid insulated job as PCA would ensure several years' at least before any impact of the Code would pass to the sector - during which time the pubcos could asset strip unhindered, change their business model to managed from tenanted and the profiteering from the attack on British social amenity would continue apace.

All that was predictable and all that is what has been happening. The evidence is in the published record of the past three years pub sector news...

For this to happen there has been collusion at all levels, from callous insouciance by government, arms length negligence by responsible Ministers whose only involvement in the pub sector is to attend beery jambories, hand shaking and back slapping senior pubco protagonists and lobbyists celebrating the homogenisation of the pub sector while criticising beer duty etc as being reasons for pub closures and executive level at CAMRA for denying there is a structural problem at pubco level and by supporting Newby's appointment.


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