Monthly Archives: September 2010

Barrel-Dregs, the money is there but how do you get to it??? (128)

If you would like to Advertise on the Site, please email us at

Dear Barfly,

I wrote to Vince Cable asking why the Banks did not appear to be supporting small businesses after the Bank bail-out – Supporting loans to SME were one of the pre-conditions of the rescue loans. Please find attached the response which answers some of the issues, I was wondering if you wanted to post this on the site for general info (I have removed all references to me but left the text of the body letter untouched).

Dear Mr XXX,

Thank you for your e-mail of 20 September to Vince Cable MP about bank lending to SMEs in the current economic climate.

The Secretary of State receives a large amount of correspondence every day and is unable to respond to each one personally.  I have been asked to reply.

We appreciate you bringing these issues to our attention, and I would like to give my assurances that the concerns of SME businesses are taken very seriously.

The coalition agreement makes clear that ensuring the flow of credit to viable SMEs is essential for supporting growth and should be a core priority for a new government, and we will work together to develop effective proposals to do so.

In that respect, we continue to call on the banks to lend to credit worthy businesses.  There are various measures in place to support access to finance for SMEs, including equity schemes providing venture capital finance and the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG), which enables banks and others to lend to viable small businesses who lack sufficient collateral or financial track record to secure a normal commercial loan.  To ensure that more businesses have access to credit as the economy recovers, the June Budget announced that the EFG facility for this year is being increased by £200 million to £700 million for small businesses until 31 March 2011, supporting around 7000 SMEs.

As Mark Prisk MP, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise is on record of saying, we will continue to challenge the banks. He wants to ensure that if they are not doing their job, we hold them to account.

In the meantime, the Government also continues to ensure delivery against agreed lending commitments to SME businesses by Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group.

The Government also recently published a Green Paper on business finance (Financing a Private Sector Recovery) which can be found at  Although the closing date for responses has now passed, through this Green Paper the Government wants to take into account the views from business, individuals and financial institutions on what they regard as the key challenges in facilitating business access to finance and what approach they think would best address these.  In line with the Code of Practice for written consultations, the Government has committed to publishing a summary of responses, giving feedback and how the consultation process influenced government policy.

As referred to in the Business Finance Green Paper, the major UK banks and the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) taskforce have explored, among other issues, the problems currently affecting securitisations markets, and discussed what could be done from a UK banking perspective to create a stronger and more sustainable market.

We will be expecting positive outcomes with a view to identifying possible solutions to the current problems being faced both by the banking sector and by businesses.

Yours sincerely,

Adam Riley


The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and accepts no responsibility for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made. They are written by concerned professionals in the industry who feel that these issues should be raised to ensure that all licensees are made fully aware of many hidden pitfalls.


Barrel-Dregs, Honesty and Integrity in the Industry??? (127)

Honesty and Integrity in the Industry

Starting with the recently announced Post Graduate course for BDM’s, what a great idea, we always support further training where companies have their staff’s future as a key part of their overall business strategy.

How many Graduates are financially able to take up this course without sponsorship?

How many companies are prepared to release their existing BDM’s for a year and pay them?

Sadly the companies that really need their BDM’s to be more knowledgeable are very unlikely release their Managers for a year.

The real villains of the Industry will continue unchecked.

The good companies may well release young, would be Managers, because their future lies with good operators across the board.

The Managed House side may well revert again to long term training and avail themselves of this Post Graduate Course.

We provide information and write about the abuses in the Industry, of which there are far too many and without them we would have very little horrific news to report.

Does this course cover Honesty and Integrity, this aspect of the Industry has been seriously lost with the creation of the Pub Co Model.

Having been involved in the Industry for nearly forty years, the Industry was a highly social and honest one where a discussion from a Brewery Manager was totally open, did not need recording or confirming in writing and whatever was agreed was done, it was an honourable Industry, we worked as a team, the aim was to sell beer and aligned products.

Now we have factions, a very large number of BDM’s/Managers are hated, considered to be unreliable and do very little for the tenant/lessee, consequently the comments from the Select Committee.

They are debt enforcers and bailiffs to boot, this is not a recipe for a contented Industry.

Many lack any serious knowledge of the complexities of running pubs and hide behind the façade of a lap top and a corporate policy that defies belief, this has to change.

The senior management in a number of companies have very little or no experience of running pubs and how to motivate a licensee, they are the worst sort of number crunchers’, this is a people business and not an automated production line, which is under financed and over loaded with debt.

There are good Managers out there and normally with the companies that we call good honest companies.

But a large number of companies and bodies connected with the Industry have discarded Honesty and Integrity and exchanged Advantageous Duplicity as a business model.

Let’s hope that this course, if it is able to work successfully gets Honesty and Integrity back into the Industry.

Without that this Industry will never recover to become a career for life, as it used to be.


If you would like to Advertise on the Site, please email us at

The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and accepts no responsibility for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made. They are written by concerned professionals in the industry who feel that these issues should be raised to ensure that all licensees are made fully aware of many hidden pitfalls.


Barrel-Dregs, Barfly and the BII’s honesty and integrity, fat chance! (124)

Dear, oh dear, Barfly, has incurred the wrath of the BII for questioning the accusations made against him by the now departed Membership Director of the BII Steve Howe, these were instigated by another Director, the Regional Chairman of the Devon & Cornwall Region .

Steve Howe told Barfly that Keith de Bruin as Chairman of the Devon and Cornwall Region wanted him removed as the MDC for North Devon, because he had two failed businesses and  was putting people off people from becoming members of the BII by his negative attitude and the fact that he had two business failures which was not appropriate to represent the BII as far as he was concerned.

No investigation, nobody asked Barfly if it was true and being told that he was not a fit person to represent the BII, after thirteen years, what a farce of BII honesty and integrity.

This comedian had just lost £235K on a Punch Lease in conjunction with his Manager another MDC, his now defunct Manager wanted to take over Barfly’s Region because he wasn’t making enough money, the fact that the pair of them are in our opinion business incompetents, they failed to ensure that the lease they signed would enable them to do what they wanted with the pub, this was all admitted at the Inquiry and probably air brushed from the records, like a number of other details that were not recorded and not made available to Barfly.

Maybe this BII  Director should have read “The Common Sense Guide to Buying a Pub”.

Surely losing £235K in a couple of years should disqualify him from being a Director of the BII on his Guide Lines, Barfly has never had any failed businesses.

He’s bought a number of very dodgy closed pubs and businesses and put them back into viable operations.

It would appear the more money you lose the higher up the BII pecking order you climb?

Barfly received a phone call from the Editor of a well known trade paper who had been asked to investigate what had exactly been going on,  Barfly had said drop the whole affair following a disturbing phone call from another Senior BII Member.

The Editor said that he had a three page letter from the BII saying that they could find no details of false accusations being made against Barfly.

Barfly said, why did the first Director gives details of the original source of the accusations to another Director who went to investigate on behalf of Barfly and confirmed that accusations were correct and when Barfly went to see the lady in question she said it was someone else and not Barfly, if no such accusations existed.

It would appear that there are certain well connected people in the Industry who would appear to be dealing in dirty tricks, for what purpose?

This whole thing is an outrageous farce on the part of the BII, all that was needed was an apology for someone having made a mistake, now we have a situation where all the muck will rise to the surface and there is a fair amount.

Why do so called self important people never apologise until the Press start digging and the Mucky Dots start joining up.

All this was documented in greater detail to the BII which they chose to ignore , it was also confirmed in the Inquiry, yet the BII chose to ignore it yet again or did Arthur’s copy get air brushed to protect the villains of the piece?

Barfly then spoke to the Director who had investigated on his behalf and he declined to get involved further, Barfly very bluntly said if this is BII honesty and integrity you had better make up your mind who’s side you are on, he immediately said he could not condone lies and said he would confirm that the accusations were made and that they were totally untrue about Barfly.

One stupid accusation by a BII Director, no complaints procedure in the BII, one Director of the BII departs post haste, a Chairman’s Meeting which is alleged to have been fairly heated and these people are supposed to be Policing the Industry.

Hopefully the honest members of the BII will rise to the surface and take control of the BII and put it back to being a respected Body where honesty and integrity is it’s creed and not ” Yes” to your face and “No” behind your back.

Barfly’s issues are small potatoes by comparison to the real issues in the Industry, yet if these are the standards that the BII has adopted, it has no future, members count for nothing as long as they pay their subs, their contributions are no longer big enough to influence BII policy or really safeguard their interests. The Charitable Status has been used too frequently as a reason to not back members or side step in cases of abuse by Pub Co’s, certainly where the member cannot afford to pay for good legal advice and a proper defence.

Barfly and his team believe in exposing the hidden nasty’s to get honesty and integrity back into the Industry, Barfly’s issues are absolutely nothing compared to far too many people problems in the Industry which they cannot redress, because they cannot afford to. In this case false accusations were made by Senior Directors and a cover up ensued and continued to protect so called reputations, on something that could have been resolved with an apology. What really goes on with a major issue for a member against a serious financial funder of the BII???

There are a lot of people who have vanished into penury with very nasty tastes in their mouths from the emails and calls that we get, we will run this until the BII regains its honesty and integrity or vanishes from view like far too many members.

Barfly was prepared to let the matter drop for the integrity of the BII until the letter to the MA, no chance they might have well poured petrol on the fire rather than water, who’s head will roll next.

Sadly the BII is losing out to much more switched on Industry Bodies.

You don’t poke an old dog with a sharp stick, they bite back, where it hurts.


The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and accepts no responsibility for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made. They are written by concerned professionals in the industry who feel that these issues should be raised to ensure that all licensees are made fully aware of many hidden pitfalls.


Barrel-Dregs, would you Adam and Eve it?? (124)


 What in heavens’ name is going on in the inner sanctum of the Laughing Policeman ?? City Pot Boys true mentor, Bar Fly, is being thrown to the wolves over trumped up cobblers and general rubbish instigated by the large and cherubic visage of Keith De Bruin, Chairman of Devon and Cornwall region of the BII. Seems he wanted to remove Barfly with a malicious and false flyswatter. Normally City PB would have nothing to do with such piffle but word has come down the lines that Arthur at the top of the pile has cocked up the sorry mess big time. Remember that Barfly was no less than a rare CBII and has served the Laughing Policeman for at least thirteen years. Now you would have thought that would have merited a fair call. Not one bit of it!

All the so called accusations have been reviewed by an independent enquiry, as without substance. All a total tissue of K De Bs imagination. All it needed was an apology and things could have got back to normal. However there is no complaints procedure and the results of the “independent inquiry???” subsequently held, guess what, were quickly swept under the carpet. The Trade Press are now digging and some say, Arthur and his inner sanctum are circling the waggons and chaining themselves to Gods’ big white telephone. Whither lies the truth and honesty in dealing with ones’ own.

The point of even joining the defence of our totally innocent Barfly is to highlight one very salient point. If Arthur and the other Directors of the BII, sorry, Laughing Policemen, can’t even get an honest and straightforward view on their own closest soldiers, what hope has the wider world of seeing even the slightest smidgen of objectiveness when it comes round to being the “Policeman of the Trade”. Some fat chance indeed seeing as how close naive little Arthur is being drawn to his paymasters the BBPA and their movers and shakers, the Pubcos. This is supposed to be a Licensees/Tenants organisation, paid for by Members subscription for goodness sake. Ho Ho Ho,Ha Ha,Hee Hee. Sad innit !!

As has been said in Pot Boys passim…..go join up the mucky dots !!

Not a nice picture I am afraid.

City Pot Boy.

The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and accepts no responsibility for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made. They are written by concerned professionals in the industry who feel that these issues should be raised to ensure that all licensees are made fully aware of many hidden pitfalls.


Blood Clots/Stroke – They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue



Especially people dealing with the public, it might just save a life if you read this.
Blood  Clots/Stroke – They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the  Tongue


 If everyone can remember  something this simple, we could save some  people..
 Please read:
 During a BBQ, a friend stumbled and  took a little fall – she assured everyone that she was fine  (they offered to call paramedics) .she said she had just  tripped over a brick because of her new shoes.
 They got  her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she  appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid went about enjoying herself  the rest of the evening
 Ingrid’s husband called later  telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital  – (at 6:00 PM Ingrid passed away.) She had suffered a stroke  at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a  stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today. Some don’t die.  They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition  instead.
 It only takes a minute to read  this…
 A neurologist says that if he can get to a  stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the  effects of a stroke…totally. He said the trick was  getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the  patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is  tough.
 Thank God for the  sense to remember the ‘3’ steps, STR . Read and  Learn!
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to  identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells  disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage  when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a  stroke. 
STROKE:Remember  the 1st Three Letters….S.T.R.
        Four letters…S.T.R.O.

 Now  doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three  simple questions:

 S  *
Ask  the individual to SMILE.
T  *Ask  the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE  (Coherently)
 (I.e. It is sunny out  today.)
R*Ask  him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

 If  he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call  emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to  the dispatcher.

 New  Sign of a Stroke ——– Stick OUT Your  Tongue

 NOTE:  Another ‘sign’ of a stroke is this: Ask the person to ‘stick’  out his tongue.. If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one  side or the other,that  is also an indication of a stroke.

A  cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to  10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be  saved. 

I  have done my part. Will  you?

Barrel-Dregs, a Salutary Lesson!! (126)



Pot Boy North was on a rare visit to the Midlands in search of mebbe the finest porter he knows, Hobson’s Postman’s Knock, when Eee Up, this sad little tale came to me notice. Admiral Taverns lease, last two tenants gone bust so its going dirt cheap. Middle aged businessman, local to this affluent commuter village, knows the pub well and reckons that he could make it fly. Talks to the BRM who surprise, surprise, has no trading figures but who categorically assures the fellow that the pub is easily capable of doing £6K a week. So certain is the BRM that the future rent being discussed is calculated accordingly.

The building (especially the many flat roofs) is in shoddy nick and our smooth talking BRM faithfully promises that “all the work will be covered by Admiral”. Fellow moves in on a six months tenancy at will to be converted into a 20 year lease automatically at the end of the initial six months. Our man sees the Admiral contractors start to work on the very extensive flat roofs at the same time as he is spending on the internal refurb. Admiral surveyor very apologetic, but has to take roofers off the job almost as soon as they started because of an urgent job where there has been a fire. Roofers never return and no other contractors put in an appearance except to replace two sets of french windows onto the trade patio. Time passes with “faithful assurances” that the mass of roofing  and exterior works will be done as soon as possible.

With the Admiral assurances (from a new BRM) ringing in his ears, the fellow signs up on the new full repairing and insuring supply tied lease. He has in the six months spent about £70K on a complete refurb of the interior. But ay oop, the roofs still leak like sieves and are ruining his new decor and making the electrics so unsound that he has to shut down the kitchen and can’t put on the planned live entertainment because the walls in the function room are ringing wet. He stops paying rent in protest as it was based on a £6K per week hoped for total sales, which are now about £2K (no kitchen, no entertainment).Admiral point to the repairing obligations in the full repairing lease for which he is fully responsible and ,booger ‘im, they want their rent or else they will tek possession.

Guess what, and this is from the daft fellows own mouth “to save a couple of grand I didn’t think I needed a lawyer, biggest mistake of my entire business life”. He had no schedule of condition attached to the new lease. No guarantees in writing of the works that were to be done by Admiral (now all flatly denied).No stepping up of the rental until the promised total sales were achieved. Nothing in writing from anybody at Admiral except the two documents for the six months tenancy and the new lease. So far he’s £70K down the tubes and the pub is shut whilst no rent is being paid. No beer is being delivered as the account is on stop and the certainty is that he won’t have the money to fight the inevitable Possession Order.

If only this were an isolated case but it happened this year,2010 to an otherwise successful local businessman. How can sane people be so blinded by promises and their own emotion and live on cloud nine. Please be warned if you are thinking of taking on a new life as a Publican. TAKE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE. The cost up front is cheap if you avoid the above true, very expensive and sad case.

Must get back off up the M6 and regards to all you soft Southerners.

PB North.

“This site is a privately funded website and growing in readership every day. To achieve a wider recognition the Editor would welcome cross referencing back to Barrel Dregs postings through other Blog or Websites. Information about our industry has so much greater power if more people are kept informed. Many thanks if you would be good enough to do this”.

The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and accepts no responsibility for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made. They are written by concerned professionals in the industry who feel that these issues should be raised to ensure that all licensees are made fully aware of many hidden pitfalls.


Poppleston Allen, two new conditions will appear on every licence as from the 1st October 2010

A reminder – two new conditions will appear on every licence as from the 1st October 2010. Don’t imagine that because the present Government is ambivalent about these that it won’t happen. It will, and any licence holder could face a review or worse as a result of failure to comply.

They are worth repeating in full:-

The first applies to all premises including off licences. It may also apply to remote sellers of alcohol, whether they be a supermarket or a specialist trader. Quite how they could properly comply with the condition is a matter for speculation. I think that the wording will need to be formally considered in Court before we know precisely what it means.

“(1)The premises licence holder or club premises certificate holder shall ensure that an age verification policy applies to the premises in relation to the sale or supply of alcohol:-

(2)The policy must require individuals who appear to the responsible person to be under 18 years of age (or such older age as may be specified in the policy) to produce on request, before being served alcohol, identification bearing their photograph, date of birth and a holographic mark.”

The first thing to point out is that this condition specifically relates to the premises licence holder or club premises certificate holder and does not therefore apply directly to the DPS or any other member of staff at the premises. The requirement is to produce an age verification policy in relation to the sale or supply of alcohol. The second part of the condition states that the policy must require individuals who appear to be under 18 years of age to produce, on request, before being served alcohol, the identification required. This would clearly apply to both the on and the off trade where the individual attends at the premises. If it applies to all sales, whether the individual is present or not, then it will make remote sales impossible. Supermarkets would not be able to see this type of identification before dispatching the alcohol, following a telephone order. The alcohol might only be a very small part of a large grocery order. Similar problems apply to other remote sellers of alcohol e.g. wine merchants. It is worth remembering that a remote seller of alcohol can simply deliver the goods to the house, by putting them in a safe place, e.g. a greenhouse, or by letting somebody under the age of 18 take delivery. There is a specific exemption for people under 18 receiving the goods in this way. No one will however have seen any identification from the person ordering the alcohol. It would be impossible for the licence holder to write a policy to this effect. Is this an automatic breach of the condition for any remote seller?

It is just worth drawing your attention to the words ‘or such older age as may be specified in the policy’. If you have a condition attached to your licence which specified an older age, e.g. 21, then you clearly have to comply with it and require persons who appear to be under this age to produce identification. If you only have a voluntary policy then do you have to comply? I think you do, although the Home Office has indicated that they don’t agree with me. Having said that we are still awaiting the Home Office’s published guidance on these conditions. Hopefully it will be produced soon.

The second condition states “the responsible person shall ensure that:-

(a) Where any of the following alcoholic drinks is sold or supplied for sale or consumption on the premises (other than alcoholic drinks sold or supplied having been made up in advance ready for sale or supply in a securely closed container) it is available to customers in the following measures:-

1. Beer or cider – ½ pint;

2. Gin, rum, vodka or whisky – 25ml or 35ml; and

3. Still wine in a glass – 125ml; and

(b) Customers are made aware of the availability of these measures.”

This is relatively straightforward and easy to understand. You should note however that they are definite requirements and you must be prepared to serve in these measures. You must also make customers aware of the availability of these measures, presumably by putting up a notice to this effect. If you need any new glasses, you had better get them in quickly!

For more information please contact Jeremy Allen.




Pot Boy is increasingly humbled by the massively growing volume of trade nasties that beat a path to his cellar. One area that has seemed to cause untold grief is the duplicitous scam being pulled on Tenants over the question of Audited Accounts. To set the scene, let’s go to the Enterprise Inns Code of Practice (COP). Apologies in advance for the detail, but it is important to see how the scam has been constructed (and approved by Arthur and the Laughing Policeman in the BIIBAC no less !).

Page 13…”Rents are assessed by a notional retail profit and loss account in advance of the date of the rent review, you will be asked to provide details of your actual business income and expenses so that your maintainable profit can be accurately assessed.”

Page 14….Full Discussions: “You should be prepared to discuss information relevant to your turnover and your business costs, providing supporting documentary evidence”.

Disclosure: “You should be open and honest in all discussions about rent”.

Audited Accounts: “If there is a dispute you should be ready to show a copy of your previous years audited accounts to help us calculate a fair rent.”

To put this lot into context, Enterprise Inns want EVERTHING on the table about your private business accounts that are utterly personal to you. If you have done better than, they expected, you will sure as hell get rented on your success. You see “Goodwill” just doesn’t exist in the eye of the National Rent Controller Rob May. Never has for that matter, so PB is repeatedly told. But here comes the SCAM, in bucket loads. If there is a “dispute” and let’s say you do go to Arbitration (steer well clear of the questionable PIRRS system) Enterprise and their well primed so called Independent Experts, will say your accounts are unreliable and NOT to be trusted because they are NOT AUDITED !! This is the biggest load of toe curling RUBBISH, and in accountancy terms a downright falsehood to peddle such a scam. Enterprise know this full well as Dick Turpin is an accountant of sorts by background no less !!

PB took the time to consult one of the Trade’s top accountancy firms as to the Audit scam and can but quote the following from a very, very, senior bean counter indeed.

“The only businesses that require an audit under law are companies with a turnover of more than £5.6 million or balance sheet totals of more than £2.8 million. Small traders and Partnerships are exempt from audit. In fact many “auditors” often act as” accountants ” if they produce accounts and tax returns. What is of course important is that all sole traders and Partnership businesses have to complete a tax return and those are subject to examination and detailed enquiry by HMRC. So the foolish demand for audited accounts are an absolute NO! NO! This is fully explained on page 4 of the Partnership tax return issued by HMRC.”

What could be clearer. Yet Rob May and his craven external mouthpieces STILL seek to rubbish accounts if they have not BEEN THE SUBJECT OF AUDIT (back to the last quoted sentence of page 14 above).Why bother ?? Because if they rubbish the accounts as not reliable, indeed some go as far as to say that the accounts are dishonestly prepared if they have not been audited, then they can and do insert their own wild guess of what the trade should be, and bang the rent demand up accordingly. The demand for AUDITED ACCOUNTS is total twaddle and Enterprise know it. Yet time and time again according to PBs many contacts, Enterprise pull this scam, especially before Arbitrators and get away with it because Arbitrators appointed by the RICS aren’t accountants. What a dirty way to treat their so called “Partners” in business. Wonder why Enterprise has such a rotten name in the trade when they pull scams like this.

Oh, and by the by, if you are tricked into counter signing the COP as acceptable, you might just have agreed by document to have condoned the continuation of the SCAM and agreed to have to provide Audited Accounts. There is no end to the duplicity !! Running successful pubs like yours truly used to be a pleasure. Not any more when the freeholder is constantly trying to shaft you. Busy lunch trade ahead of PB today. Must fly !

Pot Boy.

The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and accepts no responsibility for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made. They are written by concerned professionals in the industry who feel that these issues should be raised to ensure that all licensees are made fully aware of many hidden pitfalls.





Pot Boy has been supplied with all the copy documents of the originals in this sordid case, not by those directly involved, but by a wider local source outside the immediate circle of advisers. This one is going far and wide !!

It concerns The Parkers Arms, Paignton which is a Punch lease up for rent review. The Tenant, Debra May, has not seen eye to eye with her BRM from the outset. She felt and still feels bullied and intimidated. She is doing all that is possible to increase the trade in The Parkers Arms, live music, new menus, value for money offers etc, etc, but was deeply concerned that the corporate being Punch “had it on record” that she was basically not much cop at being a “Good Average Operator”. In so many words, as she wasn’t (in Punch’s eyes anyway) up to scratch, the FMT should have been miles higher and the rent increased accordingly. PB has been told that the rent is eye wateringly high anyway.

Every Punch BRM visit gets recorded by the BRM on what is known as a Customer Agenda Pad (CAP).Each one is numbered and countersigned by the Tenant as being a true and accurate record. The CAPs that Pot Boy has seen paint a very gloomy picture of failing to succeed, of help being offered as the only way out of the mess and generally down grade performance. At the foot of the CAP are two signatures, one of the BRM and the countersignature of the Tenant. What could be more straight forward, the Tenant has accepted her lot, and the lid closes in on her acceptance of, well, nothing more or less than ineptitude. But wait a minute. Just wait a cotton pickin’ minute. Debra May says she is adamant that she doesn’t recognise the drift of the conversation record or of the accuracy of the entire content of the CAPs. Also she is as equally adamant that her signature has been FORGED. Yes, you got it in one, FORGED, now who would do a thing like that??

PB has also seen no less than sixteen sample signatures from Debra May. The signatures on the CAPs, guess again, DON’T MATCH !!

Who’s telling Porky Pies, Debra May or the BRM, the answer should be soon resolved a learned Graphologist’s services are going to be called for.

Funny old world, this has a familiar ring, when another BRM was swearing black was white and both sides were asked to swear out a declaration, the matter was resolved very quickly, without the use of a declaration.

Simple really. If you want to get shot of a troublesome tenant who is facing a rent review, set the seed corn out by a dodgy line of records on the CAPs, have the concocted record as cumulatively damaging as you want, and bingo, forge the tenants signature. Estate manager then gets a record of the Tenant ‘fessing up, and there you have it, a confession of below par trading. So the current trade must be lower than expected FMT, Geronimo, the rent is justified to increase. Bye, Bye, troublesome Tenant.

Is this a one off or the tip of a systemic abuse of the system. For the sake of the industry, often noted for its low and dirty tricks, PB hopes it is the former, although this particular BRM has a mighty large patch around Paignton. Apparently in the last few days, the full “evidence” has been supplied to the top people at Punch who are, PB hopes, going to put their house in order.

More news will be posted as and when it comes out of the mire.

At least my cellar is squeaky clean !!,

Pot Boy.


The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and accepts no responsibility for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made. They are written by concerned professionals in the industry who feel that these issues should be raised to ensure that all licensees are made fully aware of many hidden pitfalls.





Pot Boy has received endless tales of hardship from fellow tenants about the fleecing tactics of the major Pubcos when they are penalised for having to pay in cash for supplies. The trick piles on more agony at the very time when careful and considerate debt management is critical. You would never believe how downright STUPID it is for Punch and Enterprise to charge for handling cash to pay for orders when they know full well that nobody actually wants to be in that position. Its almost as if your Partner (pitiable laugh that one !) is willing you to fail. Punch now charge £25 for a cash transaction and Enterprise raise a monthly charge of £100 for continuing cash transactions.

OK the background is a Banking promoted culture that cash transactions will be a thing of the past. Ever wondered why supermarkets always ask you if you want Cashback ? Its because they reload you with the hard cash and they account for the money they would otherwise “handle” by a paperless transaction. Cost saving, no more, no less. Same with the Pubcos, but hold up a minute. They hold themselves out as not only being your “Business Partner” (HO HO HO) but as caring people, having an accredited Code of Practice (COP) that backs up their touchy feely stance in this once great industry of ours. So that’s alright then !!

You see the Pubcos COPs were accredited by the Laughing Policeman, appointed to that curious position by  the BISC Parliamentary enquiry at the end of 2009.The BIIBAC stamp of approval is a fig leaf of approval for a set of COPs that in a general sense accord with the BBPA general principles. But dear little Arthur Neuman has been taken for another cosy and contrived ride by his paymasters in that by approving the COPs,in however vague a manner, the Pubcos have cunningly exploited the basically good,but misconceived intentions of the BIIBAC. They are now formally approved by none other than the TENANTS very own organisation. Trebles all round.

Go see the words in print. On Punch’s COP page 12 they say” that there will be no charge for cash with order terms of trading….BUT, they reserve the right to put in place a charge for this service”. Classic weasel words which have now floated to the surface a sure as s..t in water, and instigated the aforesaid charge. Exactly when the tenant is crying for all the help he can possibly get, along come Punch (and Enterprise too) and “eee, I adeyo, a shafting we will go”. You couldn’t make it up if you tried, it’s so pitiful. What does the Laughing Policeman do…er, NOTHING,…and keeps as quiet as the grave to which so many of their hapless members are being propelled.

Just as sardonic a laugh, as if you needed any more, was as reported in the MA,a Punch spokesman stating…”As part of our Pathway to Partnership business change programme we are introducing new free methods of payment by direct debit over the telephone or in the near future, online. “Like where have they been all these years with internet banking, paypal etc etc. Ever cottoned on to the fact that the one method which is NOT open to fraudulent abuse is, yes you got there first, CASH. You hand it over,they count it, job done. If you are in a financial pickle, nothing could be more straightforward. Step forward Punch/Enterprise and pile on the agony.

Worst of the lot, and again condoned by the Laughing Policeman, the Tenant is bullied to countersign the new COP as acceptable, including the new (unspecified and unquantified) charge on cash payments. Here, load the gun, insert into mouth, pull the trigger and try to blow your foot off !!

PBs till still rings as the CASH goes in. So back off Pubcos even if your business model/debt mountain is hurting, don’t kill the little goose that is still trying to lay little golden eggs.

Rub down with a cold wet COP document needed !!

Pot Boy.

Comment from Justa Snifta

What a shot in the foot from the incompetent Punch Taverns. I love this bit:

A Punch Partnerships spokesman said: “As part of our Pathway to Partnership business change programme we are introducing new free methods of payment by direct debit over the telephone or, in the near future, online.”

What remarkable drivel – no wonder they weren’t named. New methods of payment!! Direct Debit? Telephones? Online? What talk is this? Have such modern and, dare I say, new fangled ways finally penetrated the time capsule at head office?

What next? Wearing shoes maybe? driving around in that modern and damnable contraption, the motor car. Such talk of the future is dangerous. What’s that hot yellow thing up in the sky?

Idiots. Is it any wonder the sector is in trouble? These companies are about one step up the evolutionary scale form the amoeba.

You’re a tenant not a partner and if you want proof then look at Punch. With partners like them who needs insolvency practitioners?


The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and accepts no responsibility for them, we do try to avoid offensive or litigious statements being made. They are written by concerned professionals in the industry who feel that these issues should be raised to ensure that all licensees are made fully aware of many hidden pitfalls.