Statutory code: Pubs Governing Body chair Bernard Brindley hits out at licensees 'trying to discredit PICAS'

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pubs independent rent, Law, Board of directors, Bernard brindley

Brindley lashes out at licensees trying to "discredit" the system
Brindley lashes out at licensees trying to "discredit" the system
Bernard Brindley, chairman of the Pubs Governing Body (PGB), has accused some licensees who have used the Pubs Independent Conciliation and Arbitration Service (PICA-Service) of trying to “discredit” the system.

The PGB is the umbrella group set up to oversee both the Pubs Independent Rent Review Scheme (PIRRS) and the PICA-Service.

Brindley aired his views after a group of licensees met Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) Minister Jo Swinson on Monday (4 November) and handed over a dossier of their experiences.

All licensees who have been through the PICA-Service were invited to the meeting, set up by MP Greg Mulholland, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group. The licensees included Val Spencer, of the Cock at Lavenham, Suffolk; former licensee Alan Yorke; Kirsty Valentine, from the Alma, Islington, north London; and Peter Bradley, from the Way Inn, in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

The dossier

The dossier claims that the PICA-Service is not independent; does not issue a list of panel members it claims are not impartial and cannot legally enforce judgements on pubcos.The dossier also claimed that hosts’ relationships with their pubcos do not necessarily improve after the hearing. It said two were threatened with legal action and two pursued for forfeiture, out of just seven who have used the process.

Brindley hits back

However, Brindley hit back, saying that the claims against PICA-Service were unfounded.

Brindley said: “You have an independent judge who sits as vice-chairman on the panel, then you have a mixture of independent licensees, solicitors, accountants, surveyors and some who have worked for pubcos.

“And what we try to do at each panel hearing is have one person from each group to give a balance.”

He highlighted a recent case involving Punch where Capital Fare managing director Lucy Townsend told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser (17 October issue) that the PICA-Service process was “fantastic”.

What more do they want?

Brindley added: “People like Val Spencer won her case. What more do they want? They go to PICA-Service, they win their case and then knock it.

“Where does that come from? You would think they would be delighted.

“Those that are being negative about it are trying to discredit the system to bring in statutory regulation.”

This week the PICA-Service revealed it has recruited 13 new members​ to its current panel of 20, bringing the total number to 33.

One of the new recruits is Russell Stone, one of the first licensees through the PICA-Service process, who won a case against Enterprise. 

Related topics: Legislation, Other operators

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