From Protect Pubs on 11 August 2021
Please bear with me ... at the risk of seeming a hopeless romantic in the context of posting this video to Protect Pubs ...
The start of my thinking is I'd guess that everyone here in Protect Pubs will be familiar with the Hilaire Belloc quote:
‘From the towns all Inns have been driven: from the villages most.... Change your hearts or you will lose your Inns and you will deserve to have lost them. But when you have lost your Inns drown your empty selves, for you will have lost the last of England.’
Sally-Anne Thomas posted t ihere about a year ago - see link in post below this one but Belloc's warning has been quoted in this forum quite a few times right the way back to 2017.
Note Protect Pubs' 'About' section to the right of the page:
We encourage active participation in Protect Pubs and this makes a busy forum so POSTS MOVE QUICKLY DOWN THE TIMELINE.
This group is called Protect Pubs. Protect Pubs was created because CAMRA members were frustrated that CAMRA wasn't saving and protecting pubs and they wanted to DO SOMETHING about it. I think it started in 2016 forgive me if PP began before then? James Watson
I've said MANY TIMES - here and everywhere else - the ONLY way to SAVE PUBS AT SCALE is through a pub company set up specifically for the right reasons TO SAVE PUBS - my campaigning with Fair Pint led me to believe that campaigning can acheive law change, which feels great and is historic, but it does not - evidently - SAVE PUBS. see CAMRA. Protect Pubs and many other groups set up to at least in part SAVE PUBS; not one campaign has successed in dignificantly saving pubs or turning the inexorable loss of pubs or pubcos' behaviour round. I surmised the ONLY way to save pubs would be to do it commercially - in ways that work positively by replicating the conditions that are proven to work in actually saving pubs the way lots of people here are familiar with - the formerly dead run down failed pub destined for demolition for alternative use that has been unexpectedly saved, sometimes against all odds (like Chesham Arms for one) and made into a pub again - in these cases the SAVED pubs almost always quickly become award winnning focal points of their community.
I proposed The People's Pub Partnership as a vehicle for exactly this in 2010, registered the name and began working the idea in 2011 around the time I was being evicted at the thick end of the #GreatBritishPubcoScam having lost a rent review with Heineken (aka S&N) leaving the pub a back rent bill and costs of £150K - merely an inflated cost version of what happens to hundreds and hundreds of publicans every year as pubcos bully them out of their pubs, churning tenants again and again on their way to running the pub down to be sold for alternative use by the 'pubco' which is not a pub company but an asset sweating vehicle for the extraction of profit that's owned by a hedge fund.
The ONLY way to effectively counter the problem of the pubs crisis is to make sure these asset sweated pubs are systematically revived properly. These pubs that are so vulnerable to being picked off one by one for alternative use, hundreds of pubs every year could READILY be revived - there's TONS of detailed market evidence to support this - as excellent, award winning, proper, purpose built full service pubs again IF ONLY THEY WERE INVESTED IN - IF ONLY THERE WAS A VEHICLE MADE TO TACKLE THE PROBLEM - buy the pubs, invest in them, supply them with professional staff, stock them brilliantly, run them properly and make them Great Pubs Again.
'The market' evidently does not adequately save these pubs. The existence of Protect Pubs attests this very fact - it's all about the peril of potentially great public houses that are being lost forever due to the lack of people to invest in them and run them properly.
CAMRA set up 50 years ago. In part to SAVE PUBS yet over 30K pubs have closed forever since 1971 - evidence that campaigning to save pubs doesn't, in itself, actually SAVE PUBS. WHY, when the only solution to the pubs crisis is to get a people's pub company up and running to beat the awful, rubbish, useless national pubco opposition do we not collectively ACT and do it?
There's an analogy with Climate Crisis here. Why have we collectively failed act to avert it? Our house IS on fire. The death of the pub IS upon us. We can only change these realities if we act collectively. Starting with pubs by creating a people's pub company is, as Rob Love, CEO of Crowdfunder told me, 'a no brainer'.