Anna Soubry, Member of Parliament for Broxtowe, has welcomed the Government’s announcement, last week, of a consultation on the establishment of a statutory Code and Adjudicator to oversee the relationship between pub companies and licensees.
In the House of Commons last week, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable MP, stated that the Government is undertaking this consultation as there is real concern that too many licensees are being exploited and are suffering from a number of “unfair practices, lack of transparency and a focus on short-termism at the expense of the long-term sustainability of the sector”.
The Consultation, which is supported by organisations such as CAMRA and the Federation of Small Businesses, will be based on the existing Industry Framework Code and place into primary legislation the precept that ‘a tied licensee should be no worse off than a free of tie licensee’.
The Consultation also outlines an Adjudicator, who would have tough powers to hold Pub companies to account if they breach the Code, including arbitrating individual disputes between pub companies and licensees; carrying out investigations and imposing sanctions, including financial penalties for serious breaches.
Speaking of the Government’s proposals, Anna said:
“I am a firm believer in the important role that good local pubs, like the many that are in Broxtowe, play in the community and in encouraging sensible drinking behaviour.
I am therefore welcoming the Government’s proposals, which deal with concerns that have been raised to me by local licensees on a number of occasions.
It is my hope that this intervention will support hard-working publicans in maintaining their businesses in this difficult time.”