Pubs Code and Pubs Adjudicator

It has become apparent to Justice for Licensees that  pubcos appear to have some considerable difficulty in adjusting their behaviour, despite the introduction of the Pubs Code and Pubs Adjudicator, it would appear that very little has changed, if anything at all, this is not and should not be acceptable.

Greg Mulholland MP and Chair of the British Pub Confederation has secured a debate on Thursday 26th January 2017, it is very important that you write to your own MP and urge them to attend the debate and let hem know exactly how your pubco is behaving.

It is also important that customers and supporters let their own MP's know how the pubco behaviour is affecting them and the communities that the pubs serve.

Please find below a template email for your own MP, please feel free to change to suit:

[Draft email/letter for members/supporters/campaigners to send to their MP]

Dear [MP],

Irn am a [member/supporter of Justice for Licensees as a campaigner/licensee] in your constituency and I am writing to you as my MP,  to urge you  to attend the debate on the Pubs Code and Pubs Code Adjudicator in the House of Commons on Thursday, 26th January. Pubs and publicans need your help.

The Pubs Code came into force in July 2016, having been introduced by the Government to deliver a fairer relationship between the big six pub companies that operate a tied model and their licensees including the all-important right for tenants to opt to pay an independently assessed market rent (the Market Rent Only option or MRO). The Pubs Code Adjudicator was also established to ensure proper implementing of the Code.

However it is clear that after 6 months, the Pubs Code is not working as it should and that pubcos are flouting the Code to prevent tenants being able to access the Market Rent Only option. This is thwarting the will of Parliament and the Government who laid out how the Code should work.

Key ways the Pubs Code is being thwarted:

*rn Pubcos are refusing to allow deeds of variation to leases, forcing tenants wanting to pursue the Market Rent Only option to agree a new lease on unfavourable and clearly detrimental terms.

* Fees being proposed for Independent Assessors are unreasonable which is making it prohibitively expensive for tenants to pursue Market Rent Only option.

* Tenants seeking the Market Rent Only option are being presented with unreasonable charges and terms by pubcos which make it unviable to pursue or take the MRO option.

* Pubcos are also confusing and misleading tenants so they fail to rnunderstand their right to trigger the Market Rent Only option and miss the narrow window of opportunity to do so.

* Some pubcos are also refusing to provide the information to tenants which is required by the Code to avoid showing how their tied leases compare withrn any free of tie leases they might offer (before a tenant decides whether to pursue an independent rent assessment of their market rent).

Unfortunately, the person appointed to be Pubs Code Adjudicator, Mr Paul Newby, has failed to stop this. He is not doing his job and is letting the pubcos get away with ignoring and circumventing the intent of the legislation and the Code itself.

Astonishingly Mr Newby was appointed despite having ongoing financial links to the large pubcos he is supposed to regulate. His clear conflict of interest was not picked up when he was interviewed and he was forced in December to properly declare his shares with and loans to his former employers, Fleurets, whorn receive a considerable proportion of their income from the pubcos.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee conducted an evidence session and concluded that Mr Newby could not command the necessary confidence of pubs tenants and should be replaced, yet so far the Secretary of State has refused to do this.

So please will you attend the debate on Thursday 26th January and if you are able to, put your name in support of the motion.

Thanks for standing up for pubs and publicans.

Yours sincerely,




Thursday 19th January 2017

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