The reason for the protest is to accuse the Pub Ajudicator, Paul Newby of failing to act in the interest of Tied Pub Tenants and Pubs. Tied tenants are accusing him of failing to implement the Pubs Code and, as such, is not fulfilling his role of re-addressing the balance between larger brewers and their tenants. The relationship between these two parties is currently stacked in the brewers favour and he has done nothing to adjudicate the new law, The Pubs Code, since it came in to force in July 2016. He has also failed to investigate the continual abuse of tenants which has apparently increased in frequency since the Code came in to effect.
As a result, the tenants are calling for Paul Newby to resign from his position.
Ian Cass, Managing Director of the Forum goes on further to explain:
“The Forum met Mr Newby on the 6th of October and laid out our concerns contained in an earlier letter to him, mainly that we felt there was a lot of evidence already in the open about general poor behaviour by the pub companies where he could issue guidance and a lot of scepticism from hospitality members about his appointment and therefore his ability to conduct his role impartially. He asked to be given a chance and to be judged on his performance, something I agreed to saying that I would also let him know of member issues or feedback as we received it.
Following a number of complaints by our members I wrote to Mr Newby on the 26th January, having given him nearly 4 months and seeing little proactive action on his part I felt it time to share the Forums and our members frustrations. I received a short seven answer that did nothing in terms of responding to our points or offering reassurance to us and our members. We were left with the question of what exactly has he achieved in his tenure to date?
In the Forums opinion a lot of the criticism of Mr Newby and his appointment was valid, he had a chance to make a statement early on, both in terms of his words and actions, to prove the criticisms unfounded, he has recently announced 5 adjudications being reached but without more detail to provide context it is difficult to judge the significance of these.
So in my opinion and that of the Forum, at a time when the Industry needs it most, we have an adjudicator who’s lack of real meaningful action is damaging rather than strengthening the British Pub Industry which is a shame.”
Details of the demonstration
Tenants from across the UK are planning to attend the protest in Birmingham in the hope that the relationship between tied tenants are brewers are re-balanced and made more equal.
Time: 12 Noon Date:
Wednesday 15th March 2017
Address : The Office of the Pubs Code Adjudicator Lower Ground Victoria Square House Victoria Square Birmingham B2 4AJ
Tied tenants will be manning a bar outside of the Pubs Code Offices offering tasters of the specially brewed beers for the occasion.
Pubs Advisory Service
PAS have released full details about the protest on their website which can be viewed here.
Spring Budget news
The pubs were also affected by the recent spring budget. Pubs in England with a rateable value of up to £100,000 will receive a £1,000 business rates discount from 1 April 2017 this will effect 90% of pubs. To see the Forum reaction to the Spring Budget, click here.