PCA Paul Newby to step down

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Role to fill: the hunt for Paul Newby’s successor will begin soon
Role to fill: the hunt for Paul Newby’s successor will begin soon
The pubs code adjudicator (PCA) Paul Newby will not be seeking reappointment and will leave office at the end of his current term in May 2020, it has been announced.

Newby was appointed to the role in 2016 for a four-year term and, during this time, he has introduced new and technical legislation.

On his work during his tenure, Newby said: “The introduction of the pubs code has been a major regulatory intervention in the long-established tied pub model and a business culture ingrained over many years.

“This has not been an easy task with significant resistance and conflict along the way. Even so, three years on the tied-pub landscape is different compared to July 2016 when the code came into force, the principal effect being to rebalance the relationship between pub tenants and their regulated landlords, giving tenants greater control over their business and the opportunity to make better informed decisions and the best choices for them. I am proud to have played my part in that.”

Substantial work 

Newby cited the code’s principles of fair and lawful dealing and said tied pub tenants should not be worse off than if they were free-of-tie.

He added: “There is still substantial work to be done to achieve parliament’s aims embodied in the pubs code, notably a speedy and accessible right for tenants to go free-of-tie via the market-rent-only (MRO) option, if that is right for them.

“However, there has been significant progress and I expect to see this continue across all aspects of the legislation, based on the solid foundations that have been laid during this formative period.”

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will shortly begin looking for Newby’s replacement.

Failing pubs code

On his departure, Newby said he was looking forward to starting a new project in 2020 but added he would be continuing to work hard to deliver the aims of the pubs code in the remaining nine months of his term. He also said he was very grateful to the PCA team for their continued dedication and support.

Commenting on this news, Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) national chairman Nik Antona said: “As the first person to hold the role of PCA, we recognise the challenge of the new legislation and awful track record of behaviour by pub companies Newby took on when he was appointed. 

“He and his deputy, Fiona Dickie, have made progress pushing pub companies to waive confidentiality on decision notices so that pub tenants finally have access to vital information when in disputes with their pubco.

“Unfortunately, it is clear that the pubs code is failing. It needs immediate reform to allow Newby’s successor to deliver on the intended aims of the code and to finally get a fair deal for tenants. We hope that this will be an outcome of the current statutory review.”

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls thanked Newby for his "hard word over the past few years" and added that he had worked to find fairness and clarity in what has been, at times, a challenging role.

She said: “We look forward to working with Paul’s successor to ensure the PCA is fair and effective .”

Related topics: Legislation

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