Family brewers in support for licensing bill campaign

Related tags Beer and breweries in england Shepherd neame

Support is growing for the trade group campaigning against Government plans to move licensing control from magistrates to local authorities.The...

Support is growing for the trade group campaigning against Government plans to move licensing control from magistrates to local authorities.

The group, led by Stuart Neame, vice chairman of Kent-brewer Shepherd Neame, and Tim Martin, chairman of JD Wetherspoon, has enlisted the support of 13 family brewers including SA Brain, Charles Wells, Frederic Robinson, George Gale & Co, Hall and Woodhouse, Hardys and Hansons, and Jennings.

"I think this shows the level of concern among family brewers about these proposals," said Mr Neame.

Independent trade leaders, including John Bristow from the Guild of Master Victuallers, have also given their support to the campaign.

The group is now putting the finishing touches to its alternative licensing bill which it hopes to publish later this week.

Despite the fact Parliament has been dissolved and the group cannot present its proposals to a minister, Mr Neame said that in some ways the timing was advantageous.

"It is an interesting issue for the General Election campaign," he said. "I would ask licensees to be aware and if an election candidate visits their pub to ask them where they stand on licensing control."

The group will also receive some more publicity when Mr Neame appears on the BBC's Countryfile programme on Sunday (May 27).

Mr Neame said: "I told them I believed the Government's proposals sound the death knell for the country pub. The countryside is a hot election topic and I'd hope this will open up the debate about licensing control for us."

Related topics Licensing law

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