Lewis said that he has set up the group to involve ministers from a range of departments that deal with the sector, including the Department for Communities and Local Government of which he is a minister, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, the Cabinet Office, the Treasury and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.
The group had its first meeting earlier this month chaired by Lewis, with a range of ministers in attendance, including BIS minister Jo Swinson and Treasury minister Sajid Javid.
Lewis exclusively told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser that the informal group allows ministers to talk about any issues affecting the trade, so that they are well informed on the sector.
He said the aim is to ensure that Government strategy towards the trade is “well co-ordinated”.
“This is an important industry and it touches so many parts of Government. By doing this everybody that touches the industry on the Government side has a better understanding of what each is doing.
“This is so the industry isn’t getting pulled from pillar to post, but it also keeps it on the agenda.”
He said that while the Government had taken action on the beer duty escalator, this was not the end of the issues for the trade. “Having ministers regularly coming together keeps it on the agenda for all of us, including the civil servants,” he added.
The ministerial roundtable is to meet at least twice a year.