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Greg Mulholland

High-profile pub closure in Prime Minister’s constituency highlights real need for pubco reform

May 8, 2013 12:02 PM

Fair Deal for Your LocalGreg Mulholland, Member of Parliament for Leeds North West, Campaign Coordinator for Fair Deal for Your Local and Chair of the Parliamentary Save the Pub Group, has once again raised the issue of pubco reform ahead of a high-profile demonstration at a now closed pubco pub in David Cameron's Witney constituency.

After running Chequers Inn in Witney for twelve years, Simon Moore, the landlord, faces eviction after struggling to pay the sky high rents charged by Enterprise Inns. The pub's annual turnover averaged at £230,000 per year but the rent Enterprise demanded was equivalent to almost 40% of this total.

The demonstration comes one week after the launch of the new national campaign Fair Deal for Your Local which calls on the Government to stop the exploitation of licensees by large pub owning companies by enshrining into law the long-standing principle that the tied licensee should not be worse off than a free of tie licensee.

Greg Mulholland MP, Campaign Coordinator for Fair Deal for Your Local and Chair of the Parliamentary Save the Pub Group, commented:

"The closure of a pubco pub in David Cameron's own constituency should highlight to the Prime Minister and to the rest of the Government the real need for pubco reform."

"It is high time we had a fair deal for our local pubs up and down the country. The Great British pub is a unique institution and important for communities, the economy and for tourism. We have lost too many of them due to the unfair business practices of the large pubcos. It is time Government stopped the overcharging by the pubcos. If they do, our hard working licensees can at last make a fair living which will not only save pubs, but will also be a huge boost for the economy locally and nationally.

"Fair Deal for Your Local is calling for a statutory code for large pub owning companies which includes in it the option for tied publicans to only pay a fair, independently assessed market rent to the pub owning company - a 'market rent only' option. This will finally make the tie work as it should as well as bringing down the cost of a pint in pubco pubs."

Dave Mountford, GMB representative for tied pubs, commented:

"Simon's experience is typical of what tragically is a common occurrence for tied tenants and licensees across the country. The GMB want to highlight to David Cameron just how frequently viable pubs are forced to close as a direct result of this unjust system.

"This GMB protest at this eviction as another tied tenant loses his livelihood is to say loud and clear that the time has come to end this rigged market and replace it with an open free market. This rigged market has now cost Simon everything leaving him homeless and destitute."