Red-tape ‘disappointment’ for pub sector

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Related tags: Red tape, Bureaucracy

Red Tape Challenge: teh trade was asked to give its views on burdensome regulations
Red Tape Challenge: teh trade was asked to give its views on burdensome regulations
Industry leaders claim the Government’s approach to cutting red tape is “disappointing” and “more should be done”.

The call comes in the week that the Government revealed it plans to “scrap or simplify” 62 regulations that currently apply to the hospitality, food and drink sector, as part of its Red Tape Challenge. Close to 600 responses were received by the Government to the challenge, which gave members of the hospitality industry the chance to express views on which pieces of red tape should be abolished.

BII (British Institute of Innkeeping) chief executive Neil Robertson has labelled the Government’s approach as “disappointing” and claims it has failed to address major issues that affect the trade.

“The red-tape issues we talked about to the Government have not been addressed,” he said.

“I was encouraging the trade to engage, taking this challenge at face value, and it has not been successful. We have listened, engaged and haven’t been rewarded.

“We are very concerned about no micro business exemption for new licensing arrangements. The Chancellor’s promise is looking rather thin.”

He also raised concern that the Government has failed to act over employment law, health & safety, and food safety, as well as on fire regulations.

British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) chief executive Brigid Simmonds agreed: “These are positive first steps in cutting back some of the most pointless red tape such as around smoking signage — but more should be done.

“The Government should have removed the requirement for local councils to consult every three years on licensing policy — a big burden, when you consider the financial pressures that councils are under.

“Other costly measures for pubs, such as the requirement to advertise in newspapers, should also have been swept away.”

What the ministers said:

Tourism Minister John Penrose: ​“Rules and regulations grow like bindweed through industry and business, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the Hospitality, Food and Drink sectors.

“Wading through bumph, filling in pointless and repetitive forms is a spirit-sapping experience which too often chokes off enterprise and endeavour. The Red Tape Challenge has shone a spotlight on all this, and I am delighted with our progress.”

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk: ​“It’s great news that more than 60 regulations in the hospitality, food and drink sector will be scrapped or simplified.

"This comes on top of the 160 retail regulations that will be reviewed, amended or abolished. It shows that the Red Tape Challenge is gaining momentum.”

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