MP: real need for mandatory pubco reform

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pub trade Renting Independent pub confederation Pub group

Mulholland with Justice for Licensees leader Inez Ward
Mulholland with Justice for Licensees leader Inez Ward
The breakdown of the landmark pub trade mediation talks prove there is a real need for mandatory reform to the tied pub model, says Greg Mulholland.

The breakdown of the landmark pub trade mediation talks prove there is a real need for mandatory reform to the tied pub model.

That is according to staunch pub tenant supporter and Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland. The chair of the Parliamentary Save the Pub Group said he backed the aims of the newly formed umbrella group, the Independent Pub Confederation (IPC) (Pub trade back at loggerheads​).

The IPC includes key consumer, tenant and brewer groups such as Fair Pint, Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), Justice for Licensees and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).

The IPC is calling for all lessees to have the option of going free of tie, new guidance on rent valuation, greater transparency on rent setting, removal of RPI-linked and upwards only rent clauses and a scrapping of the AWP machine tie.

"I am disappointed but sadly not surprised — the breakdown of these talks shows that there is a need for real and mandatory reforms to the tied pub model," said Mulholland.

"The Parliamentary Save the Pub Group strongly supports the new Independent Pub Confederation and we will be working as part of the efforts to achieve the kind of real reform that the industry so badly needs.

"The pub industry has got itself into a mess and it seems clear that some parties will oppose the kind of real change that is needed to get out of that mess.

"We all await the Office of Fair Trading report with great interest, and the Government must then listen and deal with the problems to halt the damage that is being done to the pub trade and is closing pubs day by day."

Meanwhile, the pubcos have pledged to implement a new Framework Code of Practice on the Granting of Tenancies and Leases (Pubcos set out 'fundamental reform' plans​).

The new code will be mandatory for all British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) members from 1 January 2010 and members will have until 30 June 2010 to implement it.

BBPA boss Brigid Simmonds hailed the reform as a "lasting settlement", which would make further Government or competition authority action "unnecessary".

Its new code calls for the removal of upwards only rent clauses, greater transparency across the board and a procedure to deal with complaints.

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