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MP backs help for pub trade

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

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AN MP has welcomed Government moves to protect publicans by setting up an independent adjudicator to tackle unfair practices in the pub industry.

Andrew Bridgen, who represents North West Leicestershire for the Conservatives, spoke after the coalition said the adjudicator would enforce a new statutory code of practice to prevent abuses on issues such as rents and the price of beer.

He said: “Pubs are so important to our community and we need to make sure publicans are treated fairly.

“It is clear the self-regulation of the pub industry has failed and it is right that Conservatives in Government are doing what they can to protect publicans from abusive rents and practices.”

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  • Burton Mail  |  January 11 2013, 2:53PM

    After a year of inaction from the Tory-led Government and only on Saturday (5 January)Andrew Griffiths MP said in the Mail: "It is still too early to decide whether the self-regulatory system is working or not." So why on the eve of Labour’s Opposition debate (8 January) did ministers announce they are accepting many of Labour’s proposals on pub companies? Because Labour is standing up for pubs and the Opposition Debate has forced the Government to do a partial u-turn. A whole year late and after far too many months of inaction and foot dragging ministers have finally caved in and accepted that their self-regulatory model has failed to ensure fairness in the relationship between the big pub companies and their landlords. Labour has led calls alongside a broad coalition for a proper statutory code to support landlords, protect local pubs and help turn around the rising tide of pub closures. So Labour welcome the fact that, after Labour called a debate on pub companies, and on the very eve of this taking place, ministers decided to think again. However, it is greatly disappointing that they have ruled out giving landlords freedom to buy their beer where they want and have ruled out a free of tie option – which is a fundamental element of what Labour and campaigners have been calling for as an element of a new statutory code – before it has even begun consulting on what should be included in the Code. Given the huge amount of time which ministers have already wasted, it is crucial that the government moves quickly to bring forward proposals for a proper statutory code this year. Labour urge the strengthening of the Code by including a non-tied option for publicans, which campaigners have long been calling for. The government’s solution still lacks two key components of a fairer model. Labour will continue to call for a proper statutory code with real teeth, including a free of tie option to give landlords freedom to buy their beer where they want, and open market rent reviews. And this call for action is supported by: • CAMRA • the Federation of Small Businesses • the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group • UNITE the Union • the Independent Pub Confederation • Fair Pint Campaign • the GMB Union • the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers • the Guild of Master Victuallers • the Society of Independent Brewers • the Forum of Private Business