PCA appointment row

Trade must look for positives in Pub Code Adjudicator appointment - but licensee groups still call for withdrawal

By Emily Sutherland

- Last updated on GMT

Trade must look for positives in Pub Code Adjudicator appointment - but licensee groups still call for withdrawal

Related tags Paul newby West yorkshire Board of directors

The trade must look at the positives of the controversial appointment of Paul Newby as Pubs Code Adjudicator, according to Michelle Dwan, president of the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Association (FLVA). 

Read: The PMA's Big Interview with FLVA president Michelle Dwan

Dwan, who runs the Victoria Hotel in Allerton Bywater and the Magnet in Castleford, said: “The person who takes the role, in my opinion, must have a full knowledge of our industry if he is ever going to succeed.”

Newby begins work next week, but the British Pub Confederation has written directly to him asking him to step down.

The body - which represents 11 licensee associations - claims that Newby’s work as a director of property specialists Fleurets, where he represented pubcos and tenants at rent reviews, is a conflict of interest and could be perceived as biased.

The criticism of Newby’s appointment is “not without merit,” according to a leading agent.

Paul Davey, managing director of Davey & Co, told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser​ he understood concerns from tenants about potential conflicts of interest, saying: “The criticism of the appointment of Paul Newby as the adjudicator is not entirely without merit and I believe Greg Mulholland has made a valid case for concern given Newby’s long service with a practice long associated with all the major pub companies through acquisitions, disposals and rent reviews.”

Department of Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS)minister Anna Soubry, who headed up the recruitment process, said she took the decision with “great care”.

“Three candidates were placed before me, all eminently appointable. I took the view that Mr Newby was the best of the three. I wanted to appoint someone who I believed had the skills, the ability, and most importantly, the integrity to ensure that there was a level playing field and fairness.”

Newby will appear in front of a BIS select committee on 10 May and will be interviewed in an upcoming issue.

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