Nigel Marsh, who runs George’s in the Cambridgeshire market town of March, was excluded from the district’s Pubwatch after disagreements over several decisions.
In response Marsh set up his own Pubwatch page on his website. He told the PMA his scheme is just as effective as a traditional Pubwatch and that fact should be reflected in the attitude of authorities.
He said: “There is definitely a bias from the police and council towards Pubwatch but there are other ways to show you’re a responsible pub. I am sharing information that is completely open to anyone else to use.
Licensees should not think they have to stick with Pubwatch, even if they don’t agree with decisions being made, just because that’s what the authorities want. Members have to remember they are jointly liable for any decisions made by that Pubwatch.”
Steve Baker, chair of National Pubwatch, said councils should not make membership of the organisation a condition of licence but that it represented best practice.
On Marsh’s scheme he added: “The strength of a Pubwatch scheme is that you have several licensees working together to share information and sometimes to exclude problem individuals from all their premises to reduce risk to staff and customers. I am not sure how effective a Pubwatch scheme with only one member would be; who would you be collaborating with?”