Monthly Archives: January 2012

Small brewers work together

Pub to be run by four rival brewers after being bought by mystery London banker

The Albion pub in Conwy

A PUB in an historic Welsh town has been rescued by a mystery London banker – who has asked four rival breweries to run it.

The Albion, in the medieval walled town of Conwy, is thought to be the first tavern in Britain to be managed by four local breweries together.

It appeared to be going the way of many other pubs when it closed two years ago.

Then a wealthy banker – who is keeping out of the limelight – bought it at auction from the Punch Taverns chain.

“He originates from North Wales,” said Jonathan Hughes, of the Great Orme Brewery.

“He e-mailed us and said, ‘I’ve just bought The Albion. How about getting a group of local brewers together and using it as a real-ale pub?’”

Small breweries have taken off in North Wales in the last decade. Four of them have overseen The Albion’s internal restoration to its original 1920s appearance.

The pub is due to reopen on February 3 and Gwynne Thomas, of Conwy Brewery, said it would provide a refreshing alternative to the mass-produced drinks sold in many modern pubs.

“There’s plenty of stories where single breweries themselves have rescued a pub, but four getting together is quite unique in the UK,” he said.

Mr Hughes said the four were normally rivals but had worked successfully together to provide the beer tent at the annual Conwy Feast food festival.

While the Great Orme and Conwy breweries are within a couple of miles of the pub, another brewery involved – Purple Moose – is in Porthmadog, the other side of the Snowdonian mountains. The fourth is Bragdy’r Nant, set up by rugby fans and beer drinkers in Llanrwst, Conwy Valley, in 2007.

One ale from each brewery will always be on tap at The Albion, with the brewers rotating their ales. Two guest ales will feature, alongside a draught real cider.

“All the drinks in The Albion will have a great provenance and heritage,” said Mr Thomas, who started brewing nine years ago.

“For example, one of the lagers will be Budweiser Budvar – not the American stuff which is made with rice. Budweiser Budvar is the real thing from the Czech Republic.”

Mr Hughes said: “We want a narrative behind every product we stock. It might be the house wine on the Orient Express, or the first drink I was introduced to on a visit to Poland.”

The Albion was built in about 1925 to combine two earlier pubs, parts of which survive. Many of the 1920s features – including tiles and wooden flooring – largely escaped modernisation as other pubs moved with the fashions.

“It’s a quirky building, halfway between Art Nouveau and Art Deco,” said Mr Hughes.

One wall is covered with vintage wallpaper, which had to be preserved on the orders of listed-building officials.

Mr Thomas said part of the pub’s appeal was that it was split into three small rooms, which were effectively the old-fashioned combination of lounge, bar and snug.

One room at a time could easily be closed off for functions or club meetings.

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ALMR: Live Music Bill hits the right note for pubs

ALMR: Live Music Bill hits the right note for pubs

ALMR welcomes red tape-busting Bill as it nears its final hurdle in Parliament

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), has today welcomed news of a Bill, which will make it easier for pubs to host gigs, successfully passing its final stage in the House of Commons on its way to becoming law.


If the Live Music Bill receives Royal Assent, which is now highly likely, it will mean pubs hosting gigs that attract an audience of 200 or fewer will no longer require a separate condition on their licence.


Commenting on today’s result, Kate Nicholls, ALMR Strategic Affairs Director, said: “For a private members Bill to reach this far in the House is a tremendous achievement for all involved. The ALMR has been supportive of this Bill and we are delighted the Coalition government has recognised its importance.


“We look forward to more small venues being able to host musicians and bands, helping them on their first step to stardom, as so many pubs have done in the past. This really strikes the right note for not just the pub industry, but also the music industry, both of which generate huge sums of money for the economy and add to the cultural well-being of communities across the UK.”




Notes to editors

  • The ALMR is the only national trade body dedicated to representing the interests of modern bar and pub restaurant operators. Between them, our members operate just under 11,000 outlets.
  • For full details of the Live Music Bill click here
  • For more information or further comment call Kate Nicholls on 07958 796238, or email:

Government faces new Pub Co, Tenant showdown

Government faces new pubco-tenant showdown

Taken from the Morning Advertiser, for those that don’t have access to the PMA

The Government could be set for yet another showdown over the pubco-tenant relationship if it fails to implement an independent panel to monitor the self-regulation deal with the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

Bailey wins backing

In a political twist to the ongoing saga, Business, Innovation & Skills Committee (BISC) chairman Adrian Bailey won backing for his parliamentary motion last week calling for the establishment of an independent panel, approved by BISC, to monitor the self-regulation deal with the BBPA.

The motion also stated that only a statutory code of practice that includes a free-of-tie option with an open-market rent review and an independent adjudicator will resolve the contractual problems between the pub companies and their lessees.

The motion, carried by a unanimous vote, means the BBPA, pubcos and the Government will be put under increased pressure to prove the self-regulation approach is working.

Bailey said: “It was a good day for Parliament and it showed Parliament as a whole backed the BISC recommendations. It did not accept the current approach to introducing voluntary regulation and has insisted that an independent panel be set up to monitor its implementation, with the obvious implication that if it doesn’t deliver on what Parliament wants, further action will be taken to insist on a statutory code.

“The significant thing is the Government obviously didn’t want to pick a fight and Governments only do that if they think they are not going to win. I think the body of support indicated that.

“I worked with representatives on all sides of the house to agree a mutually-acceptable approach,” he said. “The great thing is there is more pressure on the Government and pubcos to show they are going to deliver. If they don’t, they know what is waiting for them. I will bring it before the BISC as soon as we have a picture emerging and we will be writing at a suitable time to ask the Government about the panel, membership and terms of reference.”

Despite the vote, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills is not legally-bound to take action. A spokesman said: “At this stage the Government notes the outcome of the vote only.”

The BISC believes the Government has to act as this was a vote with overwhelming support from MPs and to ignore such a motion would leave the Government in a difficult position.

However, BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds expressed disappointment. “Further Government red tape for pubs risks choking off recovery — stifling growth and hitting jobs,” she said.

“If Parliament could concentrate on reducing beer taxation, it will help publicans far more than any calls for a statutory code.”

Bailey added: “I am gratified by the level of support but I have to give credit to publicans up and down the country who have been very good at communicating with their MPs to demonstrate the sheer scale of the problem.

“The Government has got some sort of timetable for implementation. We will follow that closely and welcome any information from publicans on how this is being implemented.”

Bailey was set to meet BISC to discuss the way forward following the vote.

Hopefully, sanity will prevail over the activities of a number of Pub Co’s who have featured prominently in the BISC’s Inquiries.

The BBPA’s protestations and efforts to maintain the status quo may well be thwarted.


Another decent couple bite the Enterprise dust. Barrel-dregs (224)

Pub’s future uncertain, to hell with the Pub what about the people that leased it?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
11:13 AM

The landlords of the Dog and Donkey in Knowle and their three young children have been left ‘penniless and homeless’ after becoming the latest victims of the economic downturn.

Martin and Cate Allway locked up the pub for the last time as landlords on New Year’s Day night after losing everything – 10 months after buying the lease from Enterprise Inns for a reported £49,950.

The young couple had put every penny they had into the business. Testimonials call the Dog and Donkey one of ‘the best food pubs in Devon’.

Martin, 29, and Cate, 31, who have two girls and a young son, had moved from Exeter. He had given up his job in marketing, while Cate gave up her job in retail to pursue their dream.

But that dream is in ruins after investing ‘tens of thousands’ of pounds of their savings into the venture. Martin said: “We are another victim of the recession.

“We put in every penny we had into this venture, trying to make it work.

“We are penniless and homeless.”

They had introduced quiz and bingo nights, theme nights and live bands – but they say the overheads proved too much.

“Whatever we made, most of it went to the brewery.

“I respect Enterprise Inns as a business. They are out there to make money, but we just couldn’t cope.

“Maybe if we had been nearer the seafront, it would been different.

“But, in the end, alcohol is 40 per cent more expensive than in a supermarket and it’s cheaper for people to drink at home.”

As the couple were packing up on Friday, Martin added: “We have repeatedly called the brewery, left messages and e-mailed them. But they haven’t replied. I don’t know what more we can do. We have no choice but to go.

“We have made lots of good friends – friends for life – and we are sad to go.

“I don’t know where we are going to go or what we are going to do.”

A spokesman for the pub’s owners said: “Enterprise Inns does not discuss private or confidential matters that may arise from the business relationships with our publicans.”

Comment:- Another decent couple bite the dust, when is it going to stop, another listing under Retailer Failure on EI’s books, you can’t call these people suckers, they believed the corporate bull.

The Pub Co accepted them as suitable tenants, the failure rate with all these major Pub Co’s is unbelievable, yet they still keep peddling the same rubbish to honest people, who do not believe the stories about these national companies, I keep saying 5800 enforced changes in two and a half years with one Pub Co, before the recession, what is it now?

There is a better way to run a Pub Co and I have done it, where tenants are vital to your success, but they must make money as well, my old adage is “If I have a Jaguar Car and my tenant has an old banger, I have an unhappy tenant, if we both have Jaguar Cars we are both happy.” That’s if you like Jaguar Cars.


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.



Interesting Drinks Industry Stories from Chin Chin

Interesting Facts from Chin Chin

Red Wine Heart Research Shown To Be Fraudulent

January 13, 2012, 10:19 am

red-winePicture Credit:””

A US researcher has been caught trying to fake evidence to support the link between red wine and aging.

A recent 60,000 page report and three year investigation into his findings, adds more global controversy and speculation to the actual health benefits of drinking red wine.

Among his findings he stated that “the pulp of grapes is as heart-healthy as the skin, even though the antioxidant properties differ.”

Dipak K. Das, director of the university’s Cardiovascular Research Center, studied resveratrol, a substance that is claimed by main scientists and companies to slow aging or allow people to remain healthy as they get older.

He was caught after an anonymous tip-off to the university and suffered a stroke from the resulting pressure.

Resveratrol raised significant commercial interest from global companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, who bought a another company that worked on the compound called Sirtris for $720 million in 2008.

Eleven influential scientific journals have already published Das’ work including the US Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

He recently won an award from the International Association of Cardiologists and has also been cited over 100 times by reputable scientists who have taken notice of his work.

Philip Austin, the university’s interim vice president for health affairs stated that “We have a responsibility to correct the scientific record and inform peer researchers across the country,”

However, according to scientists in the field, the findings will not continue to be damaging.

“There are many investigators who are working on resveratrol, That doesn’t mean we know the whole truth. But Rome wasn’t built on Dr. Das.” said Dr. Nir Barzilai, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Das sent a letter to university officials slamming the investigation as a ‘conspiracy’ against him. The work was ‘repeated by many scientists all over the world,’ he wrote.



Large UK Pub Companies To Face Regulation Inquiry

January 13, 2012, 4:32 pm

Picture Credit:””

The government has announced plans to open up an independent inquiry into the regulation of large pub companies.

MPs have also called for an industry-wide statutory code of practice with an option for publicans to be free of being tied into these companies – pubcos – alongside an open market review of rent.

The inquiry, which will be overseen by an independent body and due in autumn, was announced during a three-hour debate in the House of Commons.

It marks a shift from the government’s alternative plan to encourage the drinks industry to self regulate.

But the decision has been criticised by the British Beer and Pub Association which claims self-regulation within the industry works.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said: “We are disappointed that MPs have supported calls for further red tape for pubs.

“We have demonstrated that self-regulation is working. Our focus remains in delivering against the recent agreements we have made to enhance the Industry Framework Code, introduce a more effective mediation service and improve support to lessees and tenants.

“With the number of pub closures falling, further Government red tape for pubs risks choking off recovery – stifling growth and hitting jobs.”


Change is a brewing in Bud’s home town

January 16, 2012, 6:41 pm

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The US-based brewer of Budweiser beer has moved a step closer to ending a century-old legal dispute over the right to use the name after buying a Czech brewery which also markets the brand.

American firm Anheuser-Busch has bought one of two breweries in the Czech town of Ceske Budejovice, known in German as “Budweis”.

Having purchased Budejovicky Mestansky Pivovar (BMP) and their Budweiser trademark in December, Anheuser-Busch has tightened its grip on the name.

But another brewery in the town, Budejovicky Budvar, still claims use of the brand£- with the rival companies locked in a fierce EU court battle over their historical rights.

Around 120 legal battles have been fought in various countries between Anheuster-Busch and Budvar£- with Budvar usually coming out on top£- and another 40 cases are still alive in courts around the world.

The spat stretches back more than a century, with all three breweries claiming a historical right to the name Budweiser.

They have been in court since the mid 1970s, fighting trademark disputes in dozens of countries as both Anheuser-Busch and Budvar moved into export markets.

Currently, Budvar sells better in Eastern and Central Europe£- as well as Germany and France -£while Anheuser-Busch is on top in Latin America, Asia and southern Europe.

In a brief statement, Anheuster-Busch confirmed the purchase and said any legal disputes with BMP have been settled.

Down Under Wine Prices Up, Production Down

January 13, 2012, 12:54 pm

Wine_PricesPicture Credit:””

A recent report by Wine Australia points to a 10 per cent decline in Australian wine production alongside an increase in price of around one per cent.

Growers and producers have been working hard to deal with the grape glut has been the scourge of 2011 – adding a bumper year’s production to an already massive 1.7 billion litres of stock.

Australian winemakers had more than twice as much wine as they need to supply annual demand in 2011.

The situation has led to a fall in production and an increase in price, the first increase in a calendar year since 2007.

The UK, US, Canada, Germany and China account for 80 per cent of Australian Wine export volumes, and all declined by volume last year.

800 wineries export their wine to China, ahead of just over 300 exporting wine to the UK making China the largest exporter destination in 2011.


Chin Chin

ALMR urges MPs to support Live Music Bill

ALMR urges MPs to support Live Music Bill

Lib Dems’ Bill will cut red tape for pubs hosting gigs

MPs are being urged to back the final stages of a Bill which will make it easier for pubs to host music gigs.


Leading pub and bar operator trade body, the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), is calling on MPs calling to support the Live Music Bill during its Report Stage, due to take place in the House of Commons on Friday (January 20).


The private members Bill, which began its journey in Parliament in July 2010, is sponsored by Lib Dems Lord Clement-Jones and Don Foster – and has received support from government ministers, Ed Vaizey and John Penrose.


If the Bill becomes law, it will mean live music events attracting 200 people or fewer will not require a licence.


Kate Nicholls, Strategic Affairs Director at the ALMR, which has long campaigned for a cut in red tape in this area, said: “We are strongly urging MPs to support this Bill in Parliament, as it reaches its final hurdle.


“The potential benefits from the Bill becoming law are vast – both culturally and economically. It will free venues from burdensome red tape and create diversity of service and offer, helping to boost trade and sustain viability.


“More pubs could play a vital part in their community by being able to host young up-and-coming bands and artists, encouraging others to take up a musical instrument.”


Meanwhile, the results of a separate Department for Culture, Media and Sport consultation on deregulating licensed entertainment are being awaited. If these proposals become law, it will also free up red tape around pubs hosting music, dancing, theatre and film.



Notes to editors

  • The ALMR is the only national trade body dedicated to representing the interests of modern bar and pub restaurant operators. Between them, our members operate just under 11,000 outlets.
  • For full details of the Live Music Bill click here
  • For more information or further comment call Kate Nicholls on 07958 796238, or email:



Kate Nicholls
Strategic Affairs Director

IPC press statement 17.01.12

IPC press statement 17.01.12




The Independent Pub Confederation (IPC) – an important umbrella organisation for publicans, consumers and small brewers – today warned Ministers not to deviate from the action plan laid out by MPs in a debate on pub companies in the House of Commons last week, if they wanted to secure the future of thousands of individual small businesses.


After 7 years and 4 Inquiries into the imbalance of power between pub companies and their lessees, the Select Committee rightly recommended that the Government fulfil its promise to consult on the content and legal status of a Code of Practice, and recommended this include anoption for tenants to be freed from the beer tie and introduce an independent adjudicator.


This was rejected by the Government, which instead accepted alternative proposals for self-regulation presented by the pub companies. These proposals were not endorsed by any member of the IPC and had not been shared in full with key stakeholders responsible for delivering them. A Freedom of Information Act request by LibDem MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group, Greg Mulholland revealed that the Government’s response to the Select Committee’s recommendations had been to cut and paste – including typographical errors – from a report by the BBPA.


This dismissal out of hand of the authoritative, exhaustive and well thought through report by the Select Committee was roundly condemned by MPs from all sides in last week’s debate. MPs unanimously agreed a motion calling on the Government to continue to monitor the behaviour of pub companies and to review progress to deliver a robust self regulatory framework by autumn 2012.


In a separate letter to all stakeholders, Ed Davey MP, Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs, makes clear that he expects the BBPA to enter into meaningful dialogue to address the issues of concern to lessees, including rent setting, AWP machines and exclusive purchase agreements. The IPC wrote to the BBPA offering to meet to discuss its agenda for reform in September 2011 – a reply has yet to be received.


Bill Sharp, Chairman of the IPC, said:


“All of our members – and the public at large – have a right to be very angry at the approach taken by Mr Davey. The Select Committee’s recommendations were not taken lightly and were the result of a very thorough investigation. They would – if adopted – lead the way to much needed change in pub sector and to the survival of many more of our local pubs.


“The IPC has always said it stands ready to engage constructively with all parties to deliver a final, lasting solution to the problems which have bedevilled our sector for so long. Unfortunately, our experience is that nothing will happen unless there is political pressure to deliver it and that is why the Parliament-backed review in Autumn 2012 is so vital. What we need now is a clear statement from the Minister setting out how he intends to work with the Select Committee to commission that review, its remit and timetable for action. Only then will individual lessees know that Ed Davey MP is concerned about their position too.”


Notes to editors


Select Committee Report –


Government response –


Parliamentary Debate –


The Independent Pub Confederation (IPC) comprises national trade bodies and campaign groups representing lessees, consumers, licensees and small brewers. IPC brings together all existing representative bodies under one banner. The group will provide a common voice in lobbying MPs, landlords and other stakeholders on a wide range of legal, political and legislative issues affecting the pub trade.


Members of the IPC include The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, CAMRA, The Fair Pint Campaign, Federation of Small Business, Guild of Master Victuallers, Justice for Licensees, Unite the Union, Brighton and Hove Licensees Association and SIBA. It aims to be inclusive and welcomes support for its objectives from others in the pub industry.


Tuesday 17th January 2012
Category: JFL

BBPA or the three Witches from Macbeth, Barrel-Dregs (223)

The BBPA, the tool of Pub Co publicity, misleading or factual depending on your opinion.

I find it totally incomprehensible that Brigid Simmonds continues to spout this continual stream of nonsense, did they consult with their tenants in depth on their issues or problems before talking to these gullible Government Ministers etc, no chance.

What do they do, they get the BII and the FVLA, two failing bodies to endorse their latest schemes at pulling the wool over the Governments eyes, the farce continues, they carry on like knights in shining armour, in reality they have not changed their squalid activities one iota, the comments from successive BISC’s have always been the same, total condemnation of these rotten companies.

Sadly he with the most money can hoodwink many influential people, who are all too often, gratified by high profile smooth talkers and obviously some serious wining and dining in expensive places, life doesn’t change.

Nobody would give a toss if these companies were fair to their tenants as the old brewers used to be, sadly these companies and their mouthpiece are not.

The industry is being killed very steadily by grasping, unscrupulous companies, their activities in the public view are just legal, but morally indefensible, behind the scenes we get terrified tenants who are being pushed to the limit and cannot fight back.

There has to be a better way, certainly anything that the BBPA proposes is never ever going to be a solution and never will.

The following is an extract from their latest proposals, I should say it has a touch of Shakespear about it, the Three Witches from Macbeth, BBPA, BII and FLVA, dear old Brigid stirring the Cauldron.

I just hope that they will all boil themselves into oblivion, two are certainly well on the way.

BBPA responds to MPs debate on pub industry

BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments:

“We are disappointed that MPs have supported calls for further red tape for pubs. We have demonstrated that self-regulation is working. Our focus remains in delivering against the recent agreements we have made to enhance the Industry Framework Code, introduce a more effective mediation service and improve support to lessees and tenants. With the number of pub closures falling, further Government red tape for pubs risks choking off recovery – stifling growth and hitting jobs.

“The voluntary approach has enthused pub companies to go far beyond the Framework Code in their own Codes of Practice. What we need is more transparency and low cost ways to complain (PICAS) and better business support for would-be licensees to help them make a success of running a pub in a truly challenging economic climate. If Parliament could concentrate on reducing beer taxation, it will help publicans far more than any calls for a statutory code.”

Notes to Editor

In November 2011, the British Beer & Pub Association announced extensive reforms to the Pub Industry Framework Code of Practice and resolution procedures. After discussions between the Government and industry partners, the industry agreed binding principles that apply to companies operating tied tenancies and leases, enshrine the Industry Framework Code of Practice in law and provide low cost mediation and conciliation services to tied pub operators.

Key new commitments made by the BBPA and its pub company members are as follows:

• A more robust accreditation process for company codes of practice, which would require reaccreditation by the BII every three years.
• A new arbitration service, the Pub Independent Conciliation and Arbitration Service (PICAS) for disputes other than rent, with the ability to provide compensation, to which all tenants and lessees could appeal. Its establishment would be funded by BBPA members, and it would complement the existing low-cost PIRRS arbitration scheme which relates only to rents.
• A legally binding status for the industry framework code, which will be included in future primary lease and tenancy agreements by ‘reference’, and will be offered as a supplementary contract for incorporation into existing agreements. 74 per cent of all leased and tenanted pubs in BBPA membership were sent letters from their pub companies before Christmas, making the Industry Framework Code legally binding.
• A strengthened industry framework code. The BBPA, BII and FLVA have already agreed an enhanced Industry Framework Code which has been sent to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. The new code introduces a formalised conciliation and advisory service, a tri-annual review process and a range of technical improvements.
• An enhanced provision of independent expert business advice and setting the highest standards of training.

BBPA, BII and FLVA agree enhanced Industry Framework Code

The BBPA, BII and FLVA have today agreed an enhanced Industry Framework Code which has been sent to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

The new code introduces a formalised conciliation and advisory service, a tri-annual review process and a range of technical improvements.

This is in line with the commitments made by the BBPA to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

Industry Framework Code – December 2011

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.




How to stitch Pub Tenants up

How to stitch Pub Tenants up

This is an extract from the Independent and other sources.

A Coalition report rejecting tougher controls on pub companies was partly written by a powerful industry group, it has emerged.

Civil servants preparing the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’s (BIS) response to a critical Commons investigation into “pubcos” copied chunks of a document from the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), which represents the companies. In some cases, officials cut and paste paragraphs from the BBPA proposals without changing a word.

The disclosure is likely to increase concern about the influence of vested interests in the corridors of power following The Independent’s disclosures about the work of the lobbying firm Bell Pottinger, as well as prompting further scrutiny of the Government’s decision to abandon legislation to reform the £28 billion-a-year pub industry.

An estimated 700 pubs closed last year amid increased home drinking and evidence that pub companies raised charges to “tied” pubs for rent and beer.

In September, the BIS concluded that the industry was incapable of reforming itself and backed legislation to control pub companies.

But in November, Ed Davey, a business minister, said he was prepared to give self-regulation another go by agreeing a tougher code of practice.

His department added that adopting the industry’s proposal of inserting its strengthened code into “tied” contracts would be quicker and potentially “equally effective” as legislation.

His department said that the Office of Fair Trading had found no evidence that a lack of competition was hitting drinkers.

Emails from BIS, obtained under freedom of information laws by the all-party parliamentary Save The Pub Group, suggest that the BBPA exerted a heavy influence on the Government during what Mr Davey described as “tough negotiations”.

BIS apparently accepted that the new contracts would be legally binding after accepting advice from a QC, Robert Howe, who had been hired by the BBPA.

Officials assisted the association in writing a press release and inserted wholesale into the department’s response to the BBPA’s changes to the code of conduct on items such as rents, complaints and insurance.

The Save the Pub Group said the correspondence revealed “a wholly inappropriate relationship” between BIS officials and the BBPA.

“BIS officials, as well as being worryingly close to the BBPA and their lobbyists, sought advice from the BBPA for their advice on issues, then took it – without any scrutiny and without consulting the licensee and consumer groups,” the parliamentary group said.

Jonathan Mail, head of public affairs at the Campaign for Real Ale, said: “The influence is remarkable. The Government’s response was effectively captured by the pub companies.”

The BBPA said the claims were “without foundation”. A spokesman for the organisation said: “It is common sense that the only way the Government could consider whether there was any merit in further self-regulation was to talk to us about these issues – as you would expect the department for business to do.”

The BIS said: “Where we secured a commitment from the BBPA, of course we copied that text exactly… The rest of the response is fully the Government’s.”

Weeks before the general election, on 12 April 2010, the Conservative Party leader, David Cameron, wrote to a group called Justice for Licensees pledging the Tories’ support for a statutory code of conduct.

He wrote: “The Conservative Party support the idea that should the industry fail to deliver self-regulation by June 2011, the government of the day should end up consulting on putting the Code of Practice on a statutory basis.”


That rather nasty organisation called the BBPA has finally excelled itself in slimy, duplicitous activities to protect their obscene paymasters actions and interests.

They have totally ignored all recommendations of serious consequence by the BISC Inquiries, causing a suitable furore by the august members of the committees and justifiably so.

Brigid Simmonds the mouthpiece for the BBPA, is certainly so far out of touch with the realities of her clients activities and must live in a world of fantasy, yet still manages to convince gullible ministers to ignore the BISC findings, using what can only be described as highly secretive negotiations or discussions.

The whole business stinks of greased palms and shadowy pressure or just a plain pack of lies, if the discussions are not open, above board and in the public domain, as with four successive BISC Inquiries and their findings.

It infers that covert actions have been in force to protect a number of companies whose actions have far more disastrous consequences to honest, hardworking people than Rachmann ever did with his strong arm thugs, his actions were physical, these companies represent penury and long term stress in every respect.

The BBPA has no position in a once respected industry, it misleads in its statements that it represents thousands of pubs, it does not represent the majority of people in the industry who run the pubs, it does represent a very few greedy unscrupulous property companies, sadly their actions are within the law but outside any actions that decent people would pursue.

Words fail me at this duplicity.


Clear broken promises by govt.

Justice for Licensees (JFL) is appalled and disappointed, but very sadly not surprised, by the clear broken promises of this government.

On the 22nd March 2010 we wrote to David Cameron, asking for some clarity on the Conservatives position on pub companies. On the 12th April David Cameron’s office replied, on behalf of David Cameron with the following “The Conservative Party support the idea that should the industry fail to deliver self-regulation by June 2011, the government of the day should end up consulting on putting the Code of Practice on a statutory basis. The Government have agreed to this and we are happy with this position.” The Liberal Democrats boasted that they would radically reform the one-sided beer tie that was out of control and hastening pub closures. As far as we are concerned these were clear promises by both parties and the coalition have broken these promises and that is just not good enough! It is totally unacceptable that parties promise things and then think that they can go back on their word with no care or thought for the people who were reliant on these promises, it is disgraceful and shameful and is a practice that should not be allowed.

We were shocked today to hear Mr Ed Davey MP state that the government had promised action, no Mr Davey what the government promised is clear from the above and the government have failed to deliver on these promises!

JFL is extremely concerned that the Department for Business have only released 9% of information under the FOI request of the Save the Pub group, it is totally unacceptable that information should be subdued in this way. From the very small amount of information that has be released we are disgusted to find that many of the government proposals appear to have been copied and pasted from the BBPA’s responses including typo’s and we would have to raise the question of collusion.

Mr Davey proudly boasted that they have secured a legally binding Framework code, that is a Framework Code that will do little to stop the aggressive and sharp commercial practices prevalent within the tied estates, a code that fails to balance the risk and reward, a code that will not stop pubs from closing and will not slow down the churn of tenants which causes so much misery, suffering and financial hardship, a code that has not brought about any perceivable changes which are being felt at a grass roots level and a code that may well succeed in bringing about more misery, suffering and hardship for the tenants and the pubs of this land.

We condemn this government for their lily-livered and weak response and for their obvious support of the will of the corporations to the detriment of the pubs of this land, the people that run them and the people that use them! This government appear to have made it clear that they support croney capitalism and not small business, they also appear to have made it clear that they do not support fairness or justice, they should hang their heads in shame!

Thursday 12th January 2012
Taken from the MA for those that don’t have access to it.

BISC: ‘Government response is BBPA’s own report’


View 2 postsBy Michelle Perrett, 13-Jan-2012


Related topics: General News


The Government was accused of cutting and pasting its response to the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee (BISC) from a document written by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) yesterday.



During the pub debate in the House of Commons Save the Pub Group chair and MP Greg Mulholland claimed the evidence is “damning” and called on the Government to halt the entire proposal for self-regulation of the pub trade.

Mulholland said: “I am afraid that the explanation appears to be clear from the Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted by the Save the Pub Group: the so-called Government response is basically the BBPA’s own report, with some passages and commitments taken word for word—indeed, there is even a typo in the BBPA report presented to ministers that was directly cut and pasted into the Government’s response.

“Let us be clear that the Government’s proposals for reform are not industry proposals. They are not supported by the Independent Pub Confederation, the GMV, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Forum of Private Business, the ALMR, CAMRA, Fair Pint, Justice for Licensees, Licensees Unite or the All-Party Save the Pub Group.

“Why on earth did the Minister (Ed Davey) suggest throughout the Government response that it is an industry proposal? It is not even the Government’s response, but the response of the pubcos trying to avoid the self-regulation that he agreed was necessary.”

However, a BIS spokesman said: “The Government did of course discuss the general contents of the response with various parties in the industry as an essential part of securing an industry solution but did not collude with the BBPA.

“Where we secured a commitment from the BBPA, of course we copied that text exactly. We could not make up what had been agreed. The rest of the response is fully the Government’s.”

As the information released under FOI shows (published on our website), the Government held extensive discussions with all sides of the industry, including the BBPA, Independent Family Brewers, CAMRA and ALMR– a member of the IPC.”

Some thoughts from Lester Pyatt

A Time To Reflect- WhatTo Do for 2012

2012 is going to be a great year for those of you who take some time out to reflect what you have got to do and how you are going to do it…add in a large dose of a mentality to change…. and watch how opportunities and sales increases in your business un fold.

1. Smile at your customers more often

2 Be more organised

3 Don’t be afraid to fail

4 Spend time thinking outside the box..psst your competitors are not doing this

5 Get an attention to detail mentality about every part of your business

6 Have a better control on your finances (A tough one with certain pub Co’s)

7 Take criticism and respond in a positive manner

8 Turn “can’t do” into a “can do” culture

9 Get friends to visit your establishment more often and ask them to be critical

10 Have an arsenal of advertising and promotion tactics and do more of the ones that work (These don’t always cost a shed load of money

12 Local Charity evenings or days are terrific advertising, apart from raising money for a good local cause, it brings people in that would not normally visit your business, the cost of supplying free eats  or drinks is nothing compared to paid adverts in the press.


13 Have a team approach ethic- tell your staff what your thinking

14 Delegate where you can, it builds staff confidence

15 A problem shared….. you can’t do it all by yourself

16 Give more presents to your customers (Give some to get some)

17 If your not moving forward ..your losing

18 You don’t have to know the answer, but who you know that does

19 Enjoy life ,family and friends we’re only here once

20 Your free time is vital, use it wisely, don’t be a total slave to the business.

Have a fantastic 2012

Lester Pyatt

Note:-I have added some additional comments.