Deputy PCA reappointed for further two years

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Contract extension: Fiona Dickie was originally appointed as deputy pubs code adjudicator in November 2017
Contract extension: Fiona Dickie was originally appointed as deputy pubs code adjudicator in November 2017

Related tags: Pubs code

Deputy pubs code adjudicator (PCA) Fiona Dickie has been reappointed for the next 24 months as of 1 November 2019, it has been announced.

The deputy PCA aims to support the PCA and has the same powers as the adjudicator to arbitrate individual disputes about breaches of the pubs code (including disputes on rent and market-rent-only (MRO) options), investigate suspected systemic breaches of the code more widely across the sector, provide advice and guidance about the code, and report on unfair business practices.

This follows the news that was revealed in August this year that the PCA Paul Newby would not be seeking reappointment and will leave office at the end of his current term in May 2020.

New legislation

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.”

Call for transparency

Meanwhile, last year, the PCA’s office urged pub-owning businesses “to waive confidentiality in arbitration awards”​ to make the process more transparent.

At a pubs code adjudicator (PCA) and code compliance officer (CCO) meeting on 26 March 2018, the PCA said by waiving confidentiality where there was no commercial sensitivity, tenants would have access to the same information as pub-owning businesses, which would help explain the reasons for a judgment.

Tenant representatives have long complained that the lack of transparency in arbitration awards has blocked the progress of the pubs code and left them at an unfair disadvantage. 

Related topics: Legislation

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