It is my belief that Pubwatch is a great national think tank to come to the aid of the working licensee. Some of the watches have 10 people, some have over 100. The impact on the industry of these watches has been phenomenal.
Badly interpreted licensing laws wrongly implemented are discussed at these watches where police and council licensing officers are present, which gives them a steer on local initiatives that have been poorly introduced.
Ideas from pubwatches up and down the country are sometimes embraced by these outside agencies. I have found that most of the people who visit the watches as guest speakers give great input then take away the views of the watch, and on more than one occasion they’ve implemented the ideas.
I have been to many watches in the Lancashire area and we deal with all sorts of pub business for owners, lessees and managers.
Business is discussed before, during and after meetings and some of the chairs and committees of these watches need commending for the free time that they put in for their members.
Luckily there is a national committee — comprising a broad church of licensees, solicitors, ex-policemen, town-centre managers and industry heavyweights — that is there to help set up watches and generally give advice up and down the country.
Contributions to communities and the industry by the pubwatches used to fall on deaf ears, but thanks to a better run organisation the pubcos now realise the importance of pubwatches. In basic terms, they keep their building licences safe and legal.
Pubwatches are now a big part of councils, police and primary care trusts. The chairmen and committees of watches are invited to all sorts of fringe policy committees in towns and cities up and down the UK, and seem to be becoming part of the fabric of a lot of community committees that oversee public safety, which is in the spirit of partnership and for the good of our guests. This cannot be a bad thing.
I cannot finish without saying that our greatest Pubwatch achievement is ‘banned from one, banned from all’, which is a cornerstone initiative. If implemented correctly, this gives us a safe environment to work in.
This organisation will always be the beating heart of the pub trade for many years to come.
Dave Daly is pub manager at the Castle Hotel, Blackpool