Works Must Pay

'The legislation sucks': Parliamentary motion seeks justice for licensees

By Oli Gross

- Last updated on GMT

Works Must Pay Early Day Motion roadworks

Related tags: Morning advertiser, House of lords

MP Greg Mulholland has submitted an Early Day Motion in Parliament calling for ‘Roadworks justice for local businesses’ in response to The Morning Advertiser’s roadworks campaign – Works Must Pay.

The EDM has so far received the signatures of six MPs, including that on the cahir of the British Pub Confederation.

EDMs are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons which allow MPs to draw attention to a particular issue.

It urges the House of Commons to recognise ‘that many small independent businesses, including small shops and pubs, are negatively affected by road and utilities works’ and ‘calls on the government to reform the way small businesses can receive compensation, supporting these small businesses through making it easier for them to claim compensation and increasing the amount of compensation they can receive through a consistent and uniform process’.

The Works Must Pay campaign is being run in partnership with The Morning Advertiser​’s sister title Convenience Store​.

Signatories of the EDM include two Conservative MPs, two Labour MPs, a Liberal Democrat MP and a Democratic Unionist Party MP.

To view the EDM and encourage your MP to sign it, click here

£6,000 a week

The EDM refers to the Green Bricks in Hull, at which ongoing roadworks has lost licensee and director of Innovation pubs, Paul Weeks, an estimated £6,000 a week at the pub.

Weeks told The Morning Advertiser ​another three sites are badly affected in Grimsby, with a further eight indirectly affected by works throughout the town centre.

The frustrated director explained: “We can’t accept deliveries, window cleaners can’t get to the windows, our pubs are looking dirty.

“Molson Coors can’t deliver, deliveries are being rejected, we have to call couriers, we’ve got incomplete deliveries, we can’t get our food deliveries.”

In total the licensee is £20,000 down on trade a week thanks to roadworks schemes in Grimsby and Hull.

Obstacle course

“It’s an obstacle course to even get to one pub. Customers have to walk over planks and bridges,” Weeks said.

Hull has been selected as the UK’s City of Culture for 2017, so the city is seeing widespread redevelopment.

“Lots of businesses are closing. The area is pretty heavily tenanted from Punch and Enterprise – but smaller independent businesses are struggling,” Weeks explained.

Weeks has appealed to North East Lincolnshire Council for compensation, but been told there’s no money available, and solicitors have advised him there’s no legal backing to fight the council’s stance.

'The legislation sucks'

“The legislation sucks. It’s unfair to businesses,” he argued.

Weeks has been renovating pubs in Grimsby, spending up to £200k on improvements.

“Who is going to want to go in the pub? We’ve been going from 200 coves a day down to 70 now, and everyone complains about the noise.

“You raise your concerns and it falls of deaf ears.”

Related topics: Legislation

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