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What pubwatches are really all about The heading for William McLeod's letter "What pubwatches are all about" (MA, 27 March), in context, with his...

What pubwatches are really all about

The heading for William McLeod's letter "What pubwatches are all about" (MA, 27 March), in context, with his misconceived opinions, should have been "What pubwatches are not all about".

It is not helpful to use a pubwatch forum to criticise Wetherspoon's Tim Martin for his commercial considered pub operations. Tim Martin has been a major supporter of pubwatches and indeed National Pubwatch and considered it a responsibility where many other pubcos who may charge more for their drinks do not!

Pubwatch is about combatting alcohol-related crime and disorder including a potential threat from terrorism. Whilst I respect his opinion that bingeing is relative to the situation, that is a matter for licensees, pubcos and Government to address. Pubwatch needs to concentrate on frontline prevention of offences.

National Pubwatch was formed because, with the exception of the National Association of Licensed House Managers' (NALHM) "Ban the thug" campaign, no trade protection group effectively confronted the problems. They did, of course, raise money for charities and offered a great social atmosphere for members. Sadly most of those organisations disappeared.

Pubwatch must stay focused on its aims and objectives to remain creditable and retain the respect

of all, including customers, Government, the trade, and crime reduction partnerships. It is the dedicated position of National Pubwatch in partnership with the BII and the BBPA to continue to support and enhance the most successful initiative ever in the licensed trade, which is Pubwatch.

Bill Stone

Founder member,

National Pubwatch

A top top 10 and a great flabby feline

Your listing of top pubs in last week's issue was excellent — a terrific read — although the fact that five of the 10 are in London makes me somewhat incredulous.

Also, I know you can't include every brilliant pub, but I'm surprised you haven't got the Fat Cat, in Norwich. I took a group of licensees there and they were bowled over — literally in one case — by the choice, the atmosphere and the staff's knowledge of and passion for great beers. What a pub!

Keep up the good work,

Andy Palmer CMBII



No such thing as a free glass of water

Regarding your report "Food pubs urged to serve free tap water" (MA, 6 March ), I object to the use of the word "free" in the article.

As everyone knows, tap water is not free. We all pay water rates and many of us are on meter. We open up our business at great expense; water rates and general rates are increasing greatly in most areas.

So, no — tap water served in the hospitality environment, by a waiter, in a glass, which has to be washed and put away, whilst the customer is sitting in a pleasant, heated environment is not free.

Maybe MPs should encourage our local authorities to open up their buildings, schools, libraries, police stations, and workplaces and serve this water to all who pass by at no cost. Possible? I very much doubt it.

Heather Taylor

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