Monthly Archives: March 2009

The Bateman Group

As independent insurance brokers go, none takes their service or your business more seriously than The Bateman Group.

Since its creation in 1967, The Bateman Group have been providing independent financial advice and insurance services to a prestigious customer base of individuals, private and public companies.

Contact Details

The Bateman Group
53 Smith Street
Warwick
Warwickshire
CV34 4HU
Contact: Kenny Robinson
Tel: 01926 495113
Web: http://www.thebatemangroup.co.uk/
Email: kenny.robinson@bateman-group.co.uk

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Brulines Explained or we would like to think so, (Barrel Dregs)

Brulines System

Brulines System Install

 

Brulines Explained or we would like to think so, (Barrel Dregs)

For those who do not know what Brulines are, it is a beer monitoring system installed by many Pub Co’s.

Having had lunch with a Brulines Representative a few weeks ago, the company has some concerns about the interpretation of the alleged flow data.

Certain companies are using the data to claim that lessees are buying out and are threatening enormous fines or forfeiture of their leases for breaching their lease agreements by supposedly buying out.

The people that I have met are adamant that they have not bought out, but because of good practice on cleaning beer lines with additional flushing or blasting gas through the lines this has caused totally inaccurate readings.

The Pub Co’s claim that they make allowance or exclude beer line cleaning out of trading hours, what they fail to do is accept flushing water through after emptying a barrel during trading hours.

One gallon per line will cause chaos to the system after every empty barrel, but ensure that you record the amount , time and date, be assured the BDM will be around in due course checking.

I am reliably informed that some companies have incentive schemes to catch lessees out or try to prove that they are buying out on some very flimsy information, so much for their claims to a partnership on their web sites.

There are a number of investigations being carried out at present regarding the validity of the Brulines Data, because it’s original use was a flow recorder, it would appear to be legal.

The moment that fines were imposed or threatened by various Pub Co’s the accuracy and validity of using this information comes into question.

Inform your local Weights and Measures Dept immediately that you get any threats from the Pub Co and ask for the system to be checked for legality as a source of revenue (fines etc)

To be legally enforceable I am told that the system has to be calibrated and able to be viewed and checked regularly, which the present systems are not. There is some mention of a more accurate system to try to comply with any Weights and Measures requirements, but I have no knowledge about it at the moment.

If you have a problem email us at info@buyingapub.com and we will try and get a well informed person to talk to you on the subject, don’t be intimidated.

MSD Specialist Training Ltd

For more than two decades we have been working with large and small clients to help them maximise their investment in their people.

From our beginnings as a provider of genuinely tailored sales training we have grown our portfolio to provide an unrivalled range of sales, customer care and management training solutions.

Contact Details

MSD Specialist Training Ltd
36 Croft Lane
Letchworth Garden City
Herts
SG6 2HWTel:01462 682026Web:www.traintogain.gov.uk

Email:roy.robinson@msd.uk.net

Morgan & Clarke Chartered Surveyors

Morgan Clarke Logos copy

 

Specialising in all aspects of Licensed and Leisure Property

Morgan & Clarke are a firm of Chartered Surveyors operating  nationwide, they have fully qualified Chartered Surveyors  (RICS) and long experienced pub consultants within their staff, all have been involved in the last two BISC Inquiries into Pub Co Activities,  in considerable depth and the consultations with the RICS and the changes to their Trade Valuation Guidelines for the better.

All have worked tirelessly in the interest of licensees and some provide help to the Licensed Trade Charity for Licensees in distress.

We are a professional practice of Chartered Surveyors that have been able to identify and fulfill a truly specialist role, tailor-made to client requirements. Remarkably few other professional practices offer a comparable and comprehensive depth of experience and quality throughout the stated specialisations.

Expert Evidence

David Morgan, FRICS, MAE, MRPAS,  is among the few Fellows of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors who is also practicing Members of the Academy of Experts specialising in licensed/leisure property.

This Academy was established in recognition of the expert’s specialist role in open court procedure. They have acted nation-wide in numerous courts and tribunals in issues solely related to licensed and leisure premises. These include misrepresentation, valuation of capital assets for either partnership or divorce purposes, claims of negligence, compulsory purchase and rent reviews.
David Morgan was Chairman of the Restaurant Property Advisors Society. (1999 – 2000)

Simon Clarke FRICS, is a practising Surveyor who also has a substantial involvement with a London pub in conjunction with his partner.

The skills of our litigation support team also include expertise for structural surveys and general building condition.
Fees vary between the team members, but are always on an hourly charge format, again at competitive rates and are always pre-agreed.

Conclusion

We are a highly skilled team that can best be described as a friendly and relaxed bunch of experienced professionals who genuinely understand client needs and are sympathetic to those objectives.

As far as circumstances allow and in accordance with our established Quality Assurance procedures, we always attempt to estimate the extent of fee charges that are associated with our involvement in your affairs. By so doing, you have a direct point of reference for future cost.

We recognise that it is a competitive world and that this must be linked to acceptable fees. We would welcome the opportunity of a discussion of any of the matters outlined above and are always available to discuss matters in detail without obligation. If you would rather just drop us a line, please do so at the address below.
We look forward to hearing from you

Contact Details

Morgan & Clarke Chartered SurveyorsPigeon House

The Broadway

Oakridge Lynch

Gloucestershire, GL6 7NU

 

Contact: David Morgan
Tel: 01285 719292
Fax: 01285 760694
Web: www.morganandclarke.co.uk
Email: iinfo@buyingapub.com

 

Licensed Trade Charity

The Licensed Trade Charity is here to Care For People Like You

Provides support to those working in or retired from the licensed drinks trades in difficult times. This includes those working or retired from brewers, as well as pubs, off licenses and drinks suppliers.

Helpline 01344 898550. A free and confidential friendly ear on the end of the phone to help with a wide range of issues, including housing, state benefits and debt-related issues.

Grants for individuals to help pay for a range of affordable but urgently needed items that make a real difference to peoples lives, like mobility aids, counselling and wheelchairs.

Regular financial assistance during hard times to cover pressing needs like utility bills.
Housing for the over 55’s.
School bursaries for boarding and education at the charity’s two schools.

Registered Charity No 230011

Contact Details

Licensed Trade Charity
London Road
Heatherly
Ascot
Berks
SL5 8DR
Tel: 01344 884440
Web: www.licensedtradecharity.org.uk
Email: info@licensedtradecharity.org.uk

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Pub Co’s BDM’s Change of Heart

Pu Co’s BDM’s Change of Heart

I was at a trade show recently where one of the larger Pub Co’s had a stand, not wishing to get involved in any sort of mild verbal difference of opinion, I tried to slide past only to be caught by a BDM who I consider to be among the worst that I have met.

To my astonishment he pulled me away from the stand and said that he had read my submission to the Select Committee, I was enjoying the trade show and I thought I don’t need this.

It was like someone who has just discovered religion, to my amazement he claimed to totally agree with the bulk of the submission and in stead of a confrontational battle we had a very meaningful discussion.

He confidentially thought his companies writing was on the wall if they continued on their present path, whether he could effect any sort of change to company policy, I think unlikely or hoping that I might find an opening for him with my contacts.

But it would appear many BDM’s from the major Pub Co’s are now questioning the overall corporate policies, realising that their jobs may not exist shortly without a serious change of direction.

Parliamentary Select Committee enquiry into Pub Co’s

Parliamentary Select Committee enquiry into Pub Co’s

If you would like to view the transcript of the Select Committee Hearings follow the link, it makes very interesting reading.

The BBPA did their masters bidding and made pretence of endorsing the Pub Co model. The ALMR represented by Nick Bish gave an honest opinion about the state of the industry and the activities of the more questionable practices which may be legal but are unacceptable in today’s world. John McNamara representing the BII was in my opinion a total embarrassment to the BII in his failure to support the members problems, he is either totally unaware of the problems that members face or he is supportive of the Pub Co’s, he claimed as always that the Charitable Status of the BII restricted any form of comment about the problems facing members and others. Strangely his attendance and comments or lack of comments raised no mention on the Enquiry on the front page of the Morning Advertiser. If members are being put into penury by every legal loophole that can be exploited, I question the legality as being morally unacceptable, as a Charitable Trust the BII should be responsible for it’s members and others welfare or do I have the incorrect spelling of Charitable. The BII’s present management would appear to out of touch with the realities of the industry, some of the Regional Chairman do not share that view and would like it stressed that they are fully supportive of members and very seriously concerned about the state of the industry at present. The next Chairman’s meeting could raise some interesting debate, I hope for all members that are left the new CEO is more focused.

The great Mr Ted Tuppen came over as a person that I would not like to work for, whose accusations of stealing and tax evasion made a number of MP’s question the authenticity of such heinous crimes, fortunately his right hand man rescued him from committing verbal suicide and total loss of credibility, in my opinion, I have to add that in case I get sued for libel. He did himself and his company no favours.

Giles Thorley slid through the Hearing with consummate ease and appeared to be a caring boss, if I hadn’t seen the problems that a number of Punch lessees are contending with, he might just change direction, but I think it unlikely, all the major Pub Co’s have set their model and it will take Government legislation to change it.

A number of issues were vehemently denied and the images portrayed did not correspond to that which I face day to day.
If any of our viewers can read the transcript please send your observations and comments to the Select Committee before 6th January 09, they must be factual and not hearsay, the Committee are writing to the Pub Co’s with a number of questions.

Prior to the Select Committee Hearing (Barrel Dregs)

Barrel-dregs 3

Prior to the Select Committee Hearing (Barrel Dregs)

An interesting piece of information has just been passed to me, the person who chaired the RICS Valuation Committee that established the present method of rent valuation for pubs, which I and a number of others including members of the RICS consider to be seriously in question, has stood aside and let another member face the Select Committee, smart move on his part and lamb to the slaughter for his successor comes to mind, we will see.
It could mean that all those Pub Co surveyors or ones that acted for Pub Co’s who served on the committee might appreciate a large hole opening up and vanishing from sight for a while or maybe a change of career.
Certainly some of the supposed eminent rent valuers are questioning the current method used as being unsuitable, to put it mildly.
Anything that assesses a rent that is not based on viability is going to cause hardship to an endless amount of people, even more so in a recession.

Pub Co BDM’s make it up as they go along, (Barrel Dregs)

Barrel-dregs 3

Pub Co BDM’s make it up as they go along (Barrel Dregs)

I referred a Pub Co lessee to a colleague of mine, because he was being pushed to a rent increase.

Ignoring the interim discussions, except that there was justification for a rent decrease.

My colleague received a phone call from the BDM saying that they were not going to raise the rent and he asked on what grounds had they arrived at this decision, he replied saying that they were not obliged to give any grounds only on rent increases.

He pointed out that whatever decision is made on establishing a rent level the reasons for making this decision have to be produced.

In this case the lessee, who is a good operator, was struggling, the Pub Co have had an assortment of failures in there previously and as an apparent  show of generosity to stop him using a professional the BDM agreed to leave the rent the same, the legal argument continues with a good justification for a reasonable reduction.

Moral of the story beware of BDM’s bearing gifts, if it is out of character.