Dog show lands pub PR coup
With reference to "It's a dog's life" and "Tapping into pooch pound" (MA, 22 November 2007), your readers will be pleased to know our policy of giving all visiting dogs complementary biscuits and providing fresh water is thoroughly appreciated by the dog's owners - and brings them all back time and again.
After all, the image of the quintessential village pub at this time of year includes a foaming pint of ale, mulled wine and dogs stretched out in front of a roaring fire.
So popular is our approach we decided to hold a dog show this year (dog with the waggiest tail etc). The local press and radio station gave enthusiastic coverage and nearly 60 dogs were entered for the various classes. It turned out to be one of our busiest special events and is still talked about.
Sure, we have a restaurant which is off-limits to the canine community, but everyone is cheered by our regular and visiting dogs.
The White Horse, Chedgrave, Norwich
The benefits of pooches in pubs
Further to your piece about the Open for Dogs campaign (MA, 22 November 2007), this is the Kennel Club's view as to the mutual benefits to both licensee and customer:
In probably the most dog-loving nation in the world, dog walkers make up a significant proportion of potential customers for pubs and restaurants.
It would benefit hundreds of thousands of owners if, when walking their dogs, they could rest their legs or pop into a shop without having to tie up their pet outside. Well-behaved canine companions would also, no doubt, prefer to remain with their owners.
It makes economic sense to cater for this market. And the more places that display the Kennel Club's Open for Dogs stickers, the more pressure there will be for others to do the same.
Sent via email from Rob.Flint@thekennelclub.org.uk
Guild investigates light penalties
The MA has been right to highlight the light penalties given to those who have been violent towards licensees. The Guild has recently written to the Home Office seeking clarification of its guidelines that the Crown Prosecution Service and police say they are working within to reach pre-set targets on the number of crimes solved.
It has been reported to the Guild that offenders involved in trading class A drugs or serious violence are being issued with adult cautions if they plead guilty. They have their fingerprints and DNA taken and it is recorded as a crime solved.
As we know licensees are very vulnerable to violent attacks and the Guild is very aware that more and more offenders have been getting away with just a caution when much harsher penalties would act as a deterrent to re-offending.
John Madden CMBII
Executive Officer, the Guild of Master Victuallers
ALMR's manager tax concession
At the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) Brighton Conference last month, it was recorded how much supermarkets discounted beer during the World Cup.
I believe that the figure quoted was something like £14m, although I could be wrong and I'm not sure whether this was Tesco alone.
On the question of statistics, Nick Bish was proud to record an agreement with the Inland Revenue whereby managers would no longer be taxed on their living accommodation above licensed premises.
If there are, say, 30,000 pub managers, the ALMR agreement has resulted in a loss to the Exchequer of over £10m in tax every year.
This may be peanuts for Tesco but it's a brilliant step forward for the licensed trade as it puts (at least) an extra £300 a year in every manager's pocket.
I know almost everyone turns off when you talk about tax, but this is real money and a great result.
David R Jones FFA AIB
David R Jones & Co, Financial Accountants, Wetherby, West Yorkshire