Grogan: ALMR played a blinder in mediation

By The PMA Team

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Mp john grogan, Tobias ellwood, John grogan

Grogan: praised ALMR
Grogan: praised ALMR
Labour MP John Grogan has praised the role of the ALMR in bringing the pub sector together through mediation.

Labour MP John Grogan has claimed that trade body Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) had "played a blinder" in bringing the pub sector together to try to work out disagreements through mediation.

He highlighted the trade group's role in suggesting this route at it annual business day earlier this year.

He told the ALMR's autumn event in Birmingham that the tie needed reform not abolition. Tenanted pub companies would simply convert into property companies if the tie was ended, he argued.

He stressed the importance of mediation in finding a solution although he thought that there was likely to be a pub sector equivalent of the "Real IRA", unlikely to agree to whatever comes out of mediation.

The key thing, he argued, was an agreement that sticks across the most people. The alternative was an inquiry process that could "stretch across the next Parliament".

He also said that the 2003 Licensing Act will go down "as a success" while Alcohol Disorder Zones (ADZ) had been a failure. "What council would want to label itself an ADZ?"

He described the 2007 smoking ban as a "clear and simple" piece of legislation. Grogan said he thought that "Axe the Tax" was not a very helpful slogan and the industry had to talk about "re-balancing tax".

He said whisky had had a "good deal" over the years, "beer less so".  Conservative Shadow Licensing Minister Tobias Ellwood told the ALMR audience that he thought local authorities needed more power to shut problem pubs.

Ellwood said that problem pubs could currently continue to trade while going through the appeals process. He also told his audience that more had to be done to educate children about alcohol at an early age.

Currently, there was a danger that society was producing a "conveyor belt leading to types of behaviour that are challenging". The UK was currently the "Drunk Man of Europe", with citizens often the kind of tourist people want to avoid when they're abroad. 

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