Enterprise and Punch won't meet Fair Pint

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Fair pint campaign Enterprise inns Corporation

Pubcos won't meet Fair Pint
Pubcos won't meet Fair Pint
Enterprise and Punch have told the anti-pubco Fair Pint campaign they will not meet the group before the Parliamentary inquiry into pub companies,...

Enterprise and Punch have told the anti-pubco Fair Pint campaign they will not meet the group before the Parliamentary inquiry into pub companies, the MA can reveal.

In a letter to the campaign group, Enterprise chief executive Ted Tuppen said: "We have recently written to [Liberal Democrat MP] Tim Farron, in his capacity as chair of the launch of the Fair Pint campaign, expressing our deep concern at the irresponsible, prejudiced and ill informed nature of many of his pronouncements about pub companies, some of his comments verging on the defamatory.

"Adopting such a stance does not imply a willingness to make a balanced assessment of the relationship between pubs and pub companies.

"Clearly, I have to ask myself whether a meeting with your Steering Group would add value to the debate and, given the positions seemingly adopted by those who appear to represent your campaign, I regret that I see little point.

"I recognise that these are very difficult times for the licensed trade and that some of our tenants and lessees are struggling to keep pace with the many pressures surrounding them.

"Far from being the Rachmanesque blackguards that you attempt to portray, Enterprise is also working harder than ever for less profit, supporting our licensees, often with substantial financial help where appropriate.

"The whole team will continue to work with our licensees to the best of our abilities. In due course we will submit our evidence to the Select Committee, where I trust that we will be given a stern examination but a fair hearing."

Punch's corporate affairs director Nigel Turpin said in a letter to Fair Pint: "Punch's approach has always been one of proactively encouraging individual licensees who have a specific issue to speak with us directly.

"We will continue to do exactly that and are very pleased to meet with and to support any of our licensees requesting help or advice. This approach of an ongoing business partnership with our licensees is of great importance to us.

"We do not therefore see the benefit of meeting with the Fair Pint campaign and are not prepared to conduct an open dialogue with the Fair Pint campaign through the media."

The inquiry, from the Business & Enterprise Select Committee, will see pubcos scrutinised on how they have responded to recommendations of the 2004 previous Trade & Industry Select Committee report. Areas such as transparency in rent reviews and the machine tie will be examined.

The new inquiry is set to take place in the second half of the year.

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