Monthly Archives: May 2013

APLH Courses through John Gaunt & Partners

Alcohol Licence CoursesAPLH Course Dates

Posted: 29 May 2013 05:00 PM PDT

We are pleased to announce new course dates for the APLH course to be held at our Sheffield offices.  These are as follows: –

  • Tuesday 18th June 2013
  • Thursday 11th July 2013
  • Wednesday 31st July 2013
  • Tuesday 20th August 2013
  • Thursday 12th September 2013
  • Wednesday 2nd October 2013
  • Tuesday 22nd October 2013
  • Thursday 14th November 2013
  • Wednesday 4th December 2013

The courses fill quickly, so we would encourage you to book now.  Bookings can be taken either over the telephone or via our website, by clicking on the “BOOK NOW” button within the training pages.

Our “One Stop Shop” facility, with regard to Personal Licence applications are still operating at a discounted rate.  This is the most efficient way to obtain a Personal Licence and as well as saving you time, it will save you money.

Alcohol Licensing and the vagaries of EMRO’S, John Gaunt & Partners


EMRO Update – BlackpoolAlcohol Licensing UK

Posted: 28 May 2013 05:00 PM PDT


Further to our earlier article, Blackpool has moved ahead with plans to consult upon an Early Morning Restriction Order (EMRO).

On Wednesday 22nd May Blackpool’s Licensing Committee decided undertake the statutory consultation.  According to the Council’s own website the 42 day consultation will commence on 5th June (as we have previously reported), it is rumoured the date may slip slightly.

Cllr Gillian Campbell, Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said:

“I’m delighted that the Committee has agreed to a formal consultation on the EMRO.”

This is option that we want to explore for Blackpool and we believe it will bring benefits to the whole community. However before any decision is made it’s only right and proper that a full consultation takes place.

“The licensed trade has already been very vocal in its views about a proposed early morning restriction order. I would like to think that we can all agree that it is better for Blackpool to have a safer and more sustainable night-time economy.
“This is a suggested order that we think will help us reach that goal. We will take on board views from both residents and businesses alike before a final decision is made.”

We will provide a link to the formal consultation document when it is published.

Bristol LNL & EMRO – No Go?Posted: 23 May 2013 05:00 PM PDT


Bristol City Council are the latest council to consider an EMRO and a Late Night Levy…..and also the latest to put the matter on hold for further consideration.

There was a meeting on 23rd May to consider both matters. We understand that the meeting was a council scrutiny committee to ask a number of stakeholders for views on both matters.

We further understand that no formal decision was made and the matter has effectively been put back for further consideration but this is unlikely to be before July.

As always we will keep you posted on developments.



Hartlepool EMRO Decision – PublishedPosted: 23 May 2013 05:00 PM PDT


The Council have issued their formal notification of determination following the hearing on 7th May 2013.
This does little more that recite the observations made by and to the Licensing Committee and confirm the determination as read out at the hearing, namely:
“Hartlepool Borough Council does not believe that any level of violence or anti social behaviour should be regarded as an acceptable or inevitable consequence of a vibrant night time economy.
The Licensing Committee recognises the significant improvements that have been made to the town centre in terms of reducing violence but will consider the use of every tool made available to it to make Hartlepool’s town centre a safer place to live, work and visit.
The Licensing Committee has considered the representations made by all parties and is satisfied that an Early Morning Alcohol Restriction Order could play a role in reducing violence still further but is mindful of the concerns raised by local licensees that a reduction in opening hours, in the current economic climate, could have serious consequences for the viability of their businesses.
The Licensing Committee has determined NOT to recommend that introduction of an Early Morning Alcohol Restriction Order at the current time but intends to revisit the issue next year to establish whether local licensees, and in particular the Hartlepool Licensees Association, have taken responsibility for continuing the previous improvements including an in-depth look at the Best Bar None scheme.”
For those who wish to read the full reasons and summary of the hearing please follow the link.

Let them eat Olive Oil (in bowls)Posted: 23 May 2013 05:00 PM PDT


Following recent media reports and our article of the 20th May a controversial policy, which was due to come into force on 1 January 2014, has been shelved.

The policy, if introduced, would have required restaurants to serve olive oil in pre-packaged factory bottles with a “tamper-proof” dispensing nozzle, preventing them from putting dipping bowls of oil on tables.

According to the BBC, Dacian Ciolos, the agriculture commissioner, has acknowledged that the planned ban had failed to find sufficient support.

“I have seen and heard strong views expressed by consumers,” he said. “As a consequence I am withdrawing the proposition.”

But he continued to defend the idea, saying restaurants were potentially misleading customers by serving cheap or old olive in containers presented as new.

On Wednesday the Prime Minister, David Cameron, criticised the proposal stating:

“This is exactly the sort of thing that Europe shouldn’t even be discussing. It shouldn’t even be on the table, to force a pun… This is exactly the sort of area that the European Union needs to get right out of in my view”

It appears now that the Commission has quickly about faced.

Although widely considered to be a petty policy many of Europe’s largest Olive Oil producers Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy must be relieved. The economic effects on these nations, who are also among those hardest hit by the economic downturn, may have been deemed punitive.





Westminster pick up costly tabPosted: 23 May 2013 05:00 PM PDT



Today three judges of the Court of Appeal, led by Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson, dismissed the Council’s appeal. The effect of the judgment is that Westminster City Council will have to repay the great majority of fees charged since the beginning of 2010. Also, the Council has been ordered to pay interest at 10% above the Bank of England Base Rate and “indemnity costs” because it rejected an offer to compromise the claim on much better terms at the start of the proceedings.

Almost exactly a year ago we wrote about the case of Timothy Martin Hemming (T/A Simply Pleasure Ltd) & 6 ORS v Westminster City Council who had recently won their case against Westminster in the High Court.

The case concerned the annual licence fees for sex shops charged by Westminster.  The annual fees for such licences must be determined each year by a duly authorised Licensing Committee in accordance with the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.  Although the 2005/2006 fee was determined to be £29,102 Westminster failed to repeat the process again until 2012 when a reduced fee of £18,737 was determined.

In the intervening period demands for £29,102 were issued to the Claimants (the operators of the sex shops) each year.  The Council claimed in the case that the £29,102 was a ‘rolling fee’ for the intervening period and therefore they were not required to re-determine it each year. The Court rejected this argument.

The Claimants sought an Order from the Court requiring the Council to properly determine the fees for the intervening periods and sought direction from the Court as how properly this should be done.

The Claimants argued that the Council was not permitted to make a profit from their Sex licensing fees and that any surplus from year to year should be credited to the Claimants.  Although the Council contested this principle the Judge sided with the Claimants and established the principle that surpluses as well as deficits are to be carried forward.

When deciding which costs could be included within the Licence fees the Claimants argued although it was previously lawful to include licence fees within the costs of enforcement, it became unlawful when the ‘Provision of Services Regulations 2009’ came into force on 28th December 2009. The Claimants stated only 10% of the overall fee levied was justifiable.

In todays Judgement, Westminster City Council was also ordered to recalculate fees going back to 2004 because of deficiencies in its procedures for determining fees. The cost to the Council of the award, the interest and costs is likely to approach £2 million.
In respect of Alcohol Licensing, the Judgment will limit the scope of fees which Licensing Authorities may set following the introduction of Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011.

The Home Office has delayed introducing Regulations implementing the new powers and the Hemming Judgement must now be essential reading for those preparing the Regulations.

Here is a link to theapproved  Judgement.

Unlawful Gaming Machines – Successful ProsecutionPosted: 20 May 2013 05:00 PM PDT


The Gambling Commission have issued a number of press releases surrounding action on use of illegal gaming machines.

In one instance this has led to the successful prosecution relating to a pub in Ashford by Spelthorne Borough Council. The facts of the case were that a machine was in place which allowed a game where the maximum stake was £50 and the maximum prize was £140.  Generally (with the correct permit) a pub machine can have a maximum stake of £1 and prize of up to £70.  The machine also failed to display certain required information concerning under 18 use etc.

We understand that the sole director of the company that operated the pub pleaded guilty to the charge of ‘making the machine available’ (an offence under The Gambling act 2005) and was given a fine of £400 and ordered to pay £500 towards legal costs of the prosecuting council.  We further understand that the Designated Premises Supervisor in that instance was also found guilty of making the machine available by virtue of emptying the machine each evening.

This is a timely and salutary reminder of the responsibility of the operator of premises to ensure that only the correct machines are made available and the correct permits are in place – but also that the DPS can also carry some culpability.


Morgan & Clarke, Monthly Update on Property, buying Pubs and Restaurants well worth reading.


Pigeon House, The Broadway,

Oakridge Lynch, Stroud, Glos. GL6 7NU

Email:   Phone:  01285 719292

(Also at:  London, Cardiff, Matlock, Braunton, Lewes)

Vagaries of Buying and Leasing Pubs, Inns, Restaurants and other Commercial Property.


More than ever this year, the On licensed property market (Buying Pubs and Restaurants) seems to be polarised between the continuing and general rising success of hospitality businesses and asset values within Inner London and a small number of the major cities within the UK, set against the almost complete opposite movement of asset values in smaller towns and the countryside in general.   The adage “every cloud has a silver lining” must be tempered with the financial casualties that have now created the bargain basement scenario of pub values which in certain instances, set against residential values, appear staggeringly cheap – particularly in London.   The only problem with this glut of economically priced real estate, is the spectacular difficulty in attempting to raise the relevant finance if you do not have at hand, at least 50% of the purchase price.   The ultimate stranglehold is the last point of the supply chain, which is the Banks.   Belatedly, this now seems to be on Vince Cable’s radar.

If that last element in the equation can be unlocked, hindsight looking back on 2013, will marvel at how cheap freehold free houses were in comparison with the residential market.   Time will tell.

The team at M & C are particularly flattered by the continued growth in circulation of our monthly newsletter, specifically amongst M’ Learned Friends and other Chartered Surveyors representing both Landlords and Tenants.   This month, we have some relatively heavyweight legal points to clarify.

1.  Distress

The difficulty with keeping all of the financial plates spinning on the end of their respective sticks is that at some stage, they begin to fall to the ground.   Rent, as we have often emphasised, is one of the more sacrosanct payments that at all costs should be kept up-to-date.   However, if rent is either substantially in arrears or quite simply not paid, a commercial Landlord has five different options to take up, namely:

  1. Pursue      the guarantor;
  2. Serve      a Statutory Demand;
  3. Issue      County Court proceedings;
  4. Forfeit      the lease;  or
  5. Levy Distress.

The fifth option is the quickest and most devastating, which is to send in the Bailiffs to enter the property, levy Distress and generally take walking possession of such items that can legally be construed as having value, but not to result in the closure of the Tenant’s business.   

For many a long year, there has been an attempt by the Law Society through Parliament, to modernised the rent recovery process and it is thought likely that ‘Distress’ as it has always been known, is expected to be replaced with what is known as the ‘Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) procedures which should hopefully stop some of the more blatant abuses of the Distress system by over-enthusiastic debt collectors who are not necessarily Certified Bailiffs.   Generally, Certified Bailiffs know full-well how far they can press their on-site attention, which is (almost always), within the current law and the control of the Courts.

2.  Distress and Ancient Law

Whilst Ancient Law can be the cornerstone of current legal action as witnessed in the Vicky Price / Chris Huhne “marital coercion” case (incidentally the Government want to legislate against that legal tweak), there are other elements of ancient law that can be surprisingly powerful. 

The case of Warrant Securities Ltd –v- TFW Ltd and Greatrix, was heard in the Southampton County Court in December 2012.   Here we tip our hat to the team at Charles Russell Solicitors, who acted for the Landlord and in so doing, brought Ancient Law into full focus.  

First out of the box is the Distress for Rent Act 1689 which confirms that the Tenant actually has five clear days from the Distress Notice being served (Walking Possession), to make payment of the arrears and re-claim the items that are the subject of the Distress Notice.   During the five day period, the Landlord cannot sell the goods and in fact, there can be a further 10 day extension on the giving of formal notice by the Tenant.   

The sting in the tail was the invoking of the Pound Breach Act 1843 which comes into play if the items that are the subject of the Distress Notice, have been removed from the property (the keys have been chucked back and the property is stripped of all of its contents) and are not available to the Landlord for onwards sale in the satisfaction of the outstanding rent debt.   Under the Pound Breach Act, the Landlord can claim treble damages from an individual acting as guarantor where the Tenant Company has become insolvent and the goods distrained upon cannot be located, but can be proven, or solidly inferred, to be very valuable. 

Which only goes to show that legislation that is “ancient”, can still be powerful, that is if you know it exists!

3.  Wine Spend

News come to us from the Grocer Magazine, of recent research which indicates that there has been a substantial percentage increase in “trading up” for supermarket wine purchases.   Aside from an increase in volume sales of wines between £5 and £10, the largest percentage increase has been noted in the spend on wines between £10 and £12.    

The considered view is that the change in trading profile has been triggered by the underlying cost of midweek pub expenditure / visits which is more and more being seen as a social luxury rather than a standard “drop by and have a chat”.   If you combine the increase in wine spend with one of the more attractive meal deals being offered by the major supermarket chains, you suddenly see a £30 plus saving on a pub visit.   Is the sociability of going to the pub midweek, now being sacrificed on the altar of cost-sensitivity?   We hope not.  

4.  Assets of Community Value (ACV)

There has been much press comment recently over the availability of ACV.   There has also been a degree of confusion over precisely what ACV means and how it can be best used within the pub industry.   The existence of ACV should not be seen as a silver bullet.

To wind the clock back, the enabling legislation was contained in Part 5, Chapter 3 of the Localism Act 2011.   It allows community groups to have the opportunity to identify and formally list assets of community value, register their interest with the Local Authority and then have the opportunity or right to bid for the asset, should it ever come up for sale.

First thing to realise, is that the registration of interest for an ACV does not give the right of first refusal.   At the end of the day, the owner of the asset can sell to whoever he chooses and at whatever price, having acted within the ACV process as below.

Community bodies can include non profit-making companies limited by guarantee, neighbourhood forums if an identifiable, cohesive unit, parish councils and charities.   If a neighbourhood forum is formalised, it has to comprise of a minimum of 21 members who as a group, can be individually identified.

The application itself to the Local Authority for an ACV, does not guarantee that it will be listed as such.   The Local Authority has an eight week period to decide if it is in the interests of the local community to register the ACV.   The Localism Act excludes all and any residential property and any operational land that is in the ownership of a statutory undertaker.   The listing, if authorised, lasts for a maximum period of five years, with the owner having the opportunity of a review of the decision and also a subsequent right of appeal.

So what happens next?   Should the owner want to sell the registered property (and there is nothing that forces him to have to sell), the owner has to notify the Local Authority of that intention.   In turn, the Local Authority informs the nominating community group who have the opportunity within a six week period, to be treated as a formal bidder for the property.   During that six weeks, the owner is unable to sell the asset to any other party and is not obligated to accept any specific bid from that nominating party, if he thinks that he is not achieving his opinion of open market value.   If the bid is unsuccessful, then there is a further 18 month period from the date of the initial notice (known as the Protected Period), wherein the owner is free to dispose of the asset to anyone that he deems has made an acceptable bid. 

Basically, the ACV is a procedural matter with specific time frames, rather than an automatic right to buy for the nominating party, at a price that suits them.   Also, the service of an ACV does not restrict the authorised use of the property which in the case of public houses, could easily slide down the Use Class Order from A4, all the way through to A1 with the ACV being powerless to halt that change of use

5.  Private Arbitration on Court Terms (PACT)

There has been a growing trend recently for certain Pubcos and Brewers in situations of lease renewal, to recommend that rather than taking the procedure to County Court (which is the normal and structured progression of events), a disagreement in respect of rent should be settled through PIRRS rather than PACT as a cost-saving exercise.     Here at M & C we fully endorse any effort to bring down the costs associated with lease renewal, which certainly if it extends to a direct County Court referral, is an expensive business.   PACT is, in relative terms, significantly faster and cheaper, although certainly not as cheap as a PIRRS referral.

Early last month, David Morgan wrote to Bernard Brindley, Chairman of PIRRS, to clarify which of the PIRRS Valuers has had the requisite formal training to act as an Arbitrator under Court Terms.   Also raised, was the necessity of having Reasoned Determinations and operating outside a strict confidentiality agreement as is normal with Court procedure, upon which PACT is founded.    

We are delighted with Bernard Brindley’s response in a letter dated 23 April “I can confirm nonetheless that a number of PIRRS Valuers are PACT trained…… the issues you raise concerning Reasoned Determinations and confidentiality are under active consideration by the PIRRS Board and hope to be commented on shortly”.   

It would be excellent if the PIRRS Board confirmed that the Draconian confidentiality requirements in the Deed of Variation can be lifted and that the PIRRS Valuers can actually now explain in a Reasoned Determination, how they reached their conclusions.   Hats off to the PIRRS Board and we look forward to receiving both the identity of the PACT trained Valuers and the confirmation of the shift in policy which would have the effect of opening up a floodgate of applications for what has been proven to be a very cheap dispute resolution service.

6.  And Finally

Our favourite George Best quote…….

“I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars.   The rest I just squandered”.

Fortunately he didn’t buy a Pub.


Best wishes from the Team at M & C


Phone: 01285 719292

Almond Family Pubs are looking for sites in Cheshire

  Buying a Pub, contact Chris at Pubinnsite

                                            Almond Family Pubs are second generation pub operators looking to capitalise on their award winning reputation for community carvery pubs. Currently operating from four pubs in Cheshire, they are looking for leasehold and tenancy opportunities within 20 minutes drive time of their head office in Cheadle Hulme.

What Almond Pubs Require:
  • Traditional Public Houses with Garden and 60 space car park
  • town and suburban locations with high popluation densities
  • 90 covers plus
  • Reasonably good demographics
  • Tied leases/ tenancies are not a barrier to their success
What can Almond Pubs offer?

A long term sustainable family run operation which wants partnership with their landlord. Almond have funding available for refurbishment and investment. Their local reputation is well deserved and should provide immediate trading improvement to pubs which have lost their way.

How good is their concept?

Almond Pubs were finalists in the Publican Awards for the family pub category and winners of the Star Pub and Bar Awards for best food pub.

Please click here to view the requirement pdf or call Chris on 07889395771

If you have any suitable retained sites please e-mail

Fair Deal For Your Local, urgent, please read and support if you run a pub.

For people that run Pubs

Fair Deal For Your Local

2:23am May 14

We need your help please to keep the profile of the Fair Deal For Your Local campaign high and ever present. We have one month left of the pubco consultation period and it’s really important that everyone takes part.

Can everyone please go to the Fair Deal For Your Local page and “like” it.!/FairDealForYourLocal

It’s important that the page has lots of “likers”. There are currently less than 400. We need to make sure everyone knows what is going on as there will be things coming up that you can ALL take part in. We want to show the govt (especially the Tories!!) and the industry (especially the pubcos!!) that there is lots of interest and support for the campaign and that we are an active force with an active voice and we want change!

If you would like more information to help you with campaigning you can get a campaign pack at this link:

Please add a Fair Deal For Your Local twibbon to your profile pic show that you support the campaign.

Please follow Fair Deal for Your Local on twitter. We will soon organise a specific time where we want all supporters to tweet and retweet posts with the hashtag #fairdeal4yourlocal so that we start trending on twitter and draw mass attention to the campaign.

Please also sign up to the Fair Deal For Your Local website:

Links to the Government consultation on pubco reforms are available on the FDFYL website and you can send in your own submission too. It is VITAL that people participate, whether you are current or former pubco tenants. EVERY piece of information and evidence you can supply on how you are being, or were, treated by your pubco is essential. We have fought for a chance to change things for years. We have now got our consultation. We have earned our place at the table. We cannot let this opportunity pass us by as we have ALL been asking for years for the chance to change how we have been treated. This is the time. We must not fail now. We cannot and must not get to the end of this consultation process and hear Ministers say “we didn’t get enough evidence from tenants”. If you have a story to tell, send it in. If you’re already out of your pub due to mistreatment by the pubco, now is the time to get even. You have nothing to lose. If you’re still in your pub and you are struggling, now is the time to speak up – we are in this together. If you prefer to make your submission anonymously then do so, but please, please send in your information to the consultation. Please do not let this opportunity for pubco reform become a missed opportunity.

Please send your submissions to Vince Cable at the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills on the following email address:

If you want to be part of this golden opportunity to change things, please get involved.

There are lots of things that we can all do. Thank you to everyone who has already contributed. If you haven’t had a chance to do anything yet please do it now. Do all, or do some, but please take part. Thank you.

Fair Deal For   Your Local

The   Government are consulting on proposals to deliver a fair deal for local pubs.   Fair Deal for You…

From Peter Bradley

“My BDM is a Vampire”, some more light humour, from Robert Sayles, (Barrel-Dregs 262)


Running a Leased Pub from a Pub Co.

The lighter side of confrontation, by Robert Sayles.

My BDM is a Vampire!

My mate Len rang me last week. He’d sent a grievance to PICAS a few weeks earlier and had just received feedback. It seemed that before his case could be heard, ‘all avenues of reconciliation had to be explored’. With that in mind, a meeting had been scheduled with the BDM. Len asked me if I’d pop along to offer a bit of moral support.



Do not accept any verbal promises from a Pub Co when buying a pub, (Barrel-Dregs 261)

Record all conversations with Pub Co staff when buying a Pub.

It may seem crazy, but yet again another pile of emails hit my computer from people that say they believed what the BDM/BRM told them, when taking a lease or tenancy when trying to buy a pub.

The company, said the BDM/BRM did not have the authority to make these statements, a fat lot of good that does for the new tenants, who are hung out to dry, and on schedule to lose a pile of money for upgrading the place and no compensation.

I have said it so many times, get a small pocket tape recorder for all conversations with any employee or director of the Pub owning company.

If they say turn it off, refuse, pointing out that you need to record everything, if they still refuse to accept the converstaion being recorded walk away from the company, if you haven’t signed already.

Sadly, the drawn out legal system drives everyone, bar the Pub Co’s to distraction.

The Pub Co’s know that the pr0cess of buying an inn or pub is slow, the would be lessee has invariably massive domestic pressure exerted on them, they have sold their home and are living in temporary accommodation, the agreed completion date has gone past, what do you do?

Concede the points that have not been confirmed and take a chance, “DON’T”.

Those conceded points may be vital to your business, the Pub Co’s know you will concede because of mostly domestic pressure.

I made that mistake once, never again, I always have some rented accommodation that I can use, even if it costs me £5K, the pressure of making a hasty decision can cost you £50K.

You have to get every point confirmed in writing or on tape with a witness ideally when you take a tenancy, buy a lease or buy a pub, Pub, Bistro or Restaurant.

People selling small businesses don’t lie, they just don’t give out the unacceptable truth about the business in far too many cases, BDM’s/BRM’s are under company pressure to let a vacant business and many know that they will get full corporate backing on issues that suit the Pub Co and a stonewall and denials on anything said that doesn’t suit them, fortunately there are some honest companies but they are getting progressively less.

Potboy (South)

Please view our other web site for Information, Help and Advice

USE Free Membership HP

Alcohol Licence Information

John Gaunt and Partners latest news, Late Night Levy

Minimum pricing, Queens Speech comment on Alcohol Licensing. 

York – Late Night Levy consultation to be launchedPosted: 07 May 2013 05:00 PM PDT

York City Council last night resolved to launch a formal consultation on the possible adoption of a LNL; this would affect all premises authorise to trade after 12.00 midnight in respect of their alcohol license use.

We will update further when more detail is known. Newcastle have recently concluded a consultation on a levy (to which we responded) – and the outcome of which is awaited.


Minimum pricing developments both sides of the border?Posted: 07 May 2013 05:00 PM PDT


England & Wales: Queen’s speech: No measures for alcohol and cigarette restrictions

No new laws have been set out by the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament in relation to alcohol and cigarette restrictions with immigration stealing centre stage. This has led to speculation that minimum pricing in relation to alcohol will not be pursued by the government.

However, Jeremy Hunt speaking on Radio 4’s Today Programme has insisted no final decisions have been made “Just because something is not in the Queen’s speech does not mean the government can’t bring it forward as law, but we have not made a decision,”

He also went on to say that the ongoing legal challenge to an alcohol pricing law in Scotland, as reported below, meant that it “wasn’t possible for us to consider what course of action to do” in time for Wednesday’s speech.


Scotland: Minimum Unit Pricing – SWA to appeal decision

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has announced that it will be appealing the recent decision by a Court of Session which deemed the proposed 50p per unit minimum alcohol pricing (MUP) legislation in Scotland legal.

On 3 May 2013 Lord Doherty refused the petition, holding that the Act was not outside the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament; and that the proposed Order setting a minimum price was within devolved competence and within the powers of the Scottish Ministers. Click here to link to the full Opinion.
Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said:

“We are disappointed our petition for judicial review has been refused. We are surprised at the ruling in light of 30 years of European case law on MUP. We will be appealing against this decision and we remain confident of our position.

“The view from Europe is very different to that expressed by the court and we are not alone in having concerns about the legality of MUP. We are joined in our legal action by spiritsEUROPE and Comite Vins. The European Commission and more than 10 member states have expressed their concerns that MUP contravenes European Union trading rules and their opposition to the Scottish proposals.

“We have consistently opposed MUP so our decision to appeal should not come as a surprise. The Scottish Government has agreed to not introduce MUP until the legal process, including appeals, is complete.”

JG & Partners, Council reject adoption of EMRO

‘Live’ from Hartlepool – Council reject adoption of EMRO

Posted: 06 May 2013 05:00 PM PDT

In what may prove to be a decision of far reaching significance, the Hartlepool Licensing Committee has just decided not to impose an Early Morning Alcohol Restriction Order (EMRO) on the town’s centre.

Representations had been received from several major operators, many of whom would not have been directly impacted, had the EMRO been adopted but who were concerned by the wider possible impact on the night time economy and the whole process generally. Leading trade organisations had also opposed the proposals.

Had the EMRO been adopted, it would have restricting sales of alcohol beyond 02.00 in the town centre area. Local operators were however encouraged to embrace and participate in ‘best practice’ schemes, such as Best Bar None. They will revisit the position next year to gauge the trade response to such initiatives.

This was the first occasion on which the possible adoption of an EMRO had fallen to be considered. A small number of other councils have it on a possible agenda with Blackpool due to consider whether to launch a formal consultation on 15 May.

We will comment in more detail shortly.

The view from the Smoking Lobby, worth reading.

Latest Update from the Smoking Lobby

Smoking bans KILL businesses-FACT
Yep, there it is folks, the headline we’ve all been waiting for: PPP on PP !
People Power Piddle on Plain Packaging
Cameron has pulled this idiotic idea from next weeks Queens speech as he finally starts to grasp the concept that people simply aren’t happy with what he and his chummy chums in Westminster are doing. I think that he has finally concluded that he and his diminishing ‘loyal’ followers are not only losing the plot and losing Britain to the EU masterdons but losing supporters at ground floor level by the hundreds. Maybe these local council elections will tell us that the departures are now by the thousands instead! I think that they will. Guido certainly thinks so as he has been galloping round London availing himself of even money UKIP getting 50 seats-and I happen to think that he is bang on the button too.
OK, so the report was in the Sun, but they do have an ear close to the political ground and friend Snowdon has also picked up on this straight away and quotes ““Plain packaging may or may not be a good idea, but it’s nothing to do with the Government’s key purpose. The PM is determined to strip down everything we do so we can concentrate all our efforts on voters’ essentials. That means growth, immigration and welfare reform.” ( does that also include getting rid of these disgraceful quangos then?) And does this now mean that the Chief Medical Lying Officer (professor Dame Sally Davies) is relieved from duties? After all, if she can’t tell the truth then she should not be in a position of power-c’mon Dave, kick this bitch out please!
  Now to Simple Simon that is a translation from “I think we’ve made a right codball of things so far chummy chums, so we had better do something the people actually want us to do!” If I’m wrong I apologise but I somehow don’t think I am for I am damned sure that  everybody’s friend ‘call me Dave’ has finally realised that the “party comprising of loonies and fruitcakes” has finally come to ‘bite him on his ass’! I forget where it was but yesterday some poll or other put “Nigels Nutters” on 22%-but why are they “Nutters”?
It seems to me that Mr Farage has the full backing of the British people when it comes to stopping the immigration rot, after all, most people nowadays, with a modicum of intelligence can see the colossal damage being done whilst we have Blairs contempt for this country openly displayed every time a fresh immigrant arrives!
 As my readers well know, I was never a political animal until 6 years ago but what I have seen in those 6 years disgusts me to the very core. I have lost faith in most politicians because they only seem to want to feather their own nests – and the law (?) well, dear oh dear me, the law has been completely corrupted in order to impress ‘smoke ban laws’ upon the people; even the innocent. The law is in place to give justice a basis upon which we all learn right from wrong, but not anymore as prosecutions regarding anything ‘smoking’ are dealt with in a completely different way. I remember one gem from a magistrate, ” I believe you are a very credible witness, but I believe that she (the EHO who was 88ft away from her victim at the time the allegations were made) is more credible”! Now how’s about that one folks? Never mind the old maxim ‘innocent until proven guilty’ or even ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, they have gone right out of the window since July 1st, 2007. In any sane court of law, this case would have been thrown out through lack of evidence-and there are more like this, believe me there are more!
But back to todays elections where all sane people can only hope that Camoron gets slaughtered and loses the proposed 500+ seats. All sane people can also hope that Ed the Millibrain also loses ‘x’ number of seats as he is another complete waste of space who sees us as part of some EU superpower and as for the Il-liberal un-dems, well, frankly, they don’t deserve any seats whatsoever as Clegg should simply be exterminated for being a complete pratt! I think that Chris Huhne is the best example of Cleggs failing party – locked away for the people’s safety!
So hopefully we shall see a big surge of the purple brigade as people do begin to see that this country has a way out of all this modern day lunacy where democracy is fast becoming a thing of the past and quangos hold ‘the powers that be’ to mental ransoms! Perhaps more than one party ought to check out the facts and the lies about tobacco & smoking!
Yesterday Mr Farage, head man of those so called loonies & fruitcakes stated that he would sort out the smoking ban which was both “silly and Illiberal”. Yet again the man hits the nail absolutely smack bang on the head! Today of course there will be uproar from the flying pigs brigade, no doubt headed by insidious Arnott-who should be spit roasted for what she and her cohorts have cost this country with their crooked science rampaging.
It works out, overall, at approximately £1/2bn per month for all this anti smoking tomfoolery yet just as many people smoke now as did when they started-give or take a few dozen I suppose. Now just think how much good all that money would have done our once proud & majestic NHS. I remember seeing an article in the Leicester Mercury where the head man of Leicester Hospitals was crying over where to find the next months wages for all the staff employed-I answered the article by suggesting he ring ‘Debs’ and ask her as it was her that was spending all the monies in one way or another (it wasn’t printed by the way). The hospitals (3 of them) needed to find £1m, Debs & Co were now costing the country £1/2bn per month, so as Nigel Farage says, it is a silly law (for people are ignoring it anyway and still smoking) and it IS totally illiberal. Something that Clegg never grasped in his early days when he could have made a difference and certainly secured confidence in his party from 15 million voters!
Without doubt Camoron has seen that he is well on his way out and he knows which ridiculously imposed law will eventually bankrupt this country, the man is not totally stupid despite his obvious appearance of being so. He also knows that if he pratts about anymore, not only is he going to lose 500+ local council seats he is going to lose council controls as well. Now what we need to hope for is an area where UKIP has a large following and can possibly gain control of the local council-there will be much ‘poo’ing of the panties’ in certain quarters if THAT happens because that will show, without a shadow of a doubt that the party of the “loonies & fruitcakes” have definitely arrived. Next stop Westminster!
On the subject of Westminster, let us just imagine that at the next general election and with present rates of ‘exchange’ amongst the parties and the general dissatisfaction of the ‘man on the street’ (who ‘call me Dave’ never bothered to talk to-the ignoramus!), what is so far fetched about the illib undems losing 15 seats, the EU friendly Labour mob losing 5 and the foundering Tories losing 15 seats too? I doubt the Greens would pick any up for they have proved to be a party full of nutters (not loonies mind, nor fruitcakes-just nutters) but you may find the odd independent copping for a seat which would leave the UKIP mob with the possibility of 30-34 seats in Westminster. Now that would shake the system up a bit!
May seem far fetched to many of you but why should the above events not happen-after all, the general public are now disillusioned with all three of the main parties and who can blame them? For those of you who think I’m crackers I’m sure that you’ll be happy to lay me a tenner at 10,000/1 – and I’ll ‘pay on’!
The Danes have finally seen sense and repealed their silly laws which saw a massive increase in cross border shopping and most EU countries have given their smokers some sort of leeway as they recocognise the financial importance of such people in their societies. Our governments do too but they are scared pantless to upset the quangos & the WHO. The last mentioned, by the way, are now attempting to pressure nations into exterminating their tobacco plantations so as to reduce the available amounts of this humble, natural plant that millions of humans seem to enjoy. It doesn’t matter to the WHO that entire nations will be pauperised, that’s not their problem, they just want tobacco eradicated-mind you, 40 years ago they said the same about illegal drugs!
The real beauty of todays elections is that this will give the people the opportunity to show Camoron that we always wanted ‘that referendum’ and that we would definitely opt OUT of that stinking pile of donkey plop known as the EU – after all, why would we want our banks raided just to keep some self imposed bunch of egomaniacs in the luxury they presently enjoy. What are they achieving whilst sitting in Brussels/Strasbourg exept angering the British people on a daily/weekly basis? At least David Cameron has, today, put the British people first by withdrawing that idiotic proposal of Plain Packaging for even he could see that to allow such after all the corrupt dealings by various MPs & lobby groups, the measure was deeply unpopular with the rank & file-not to mention of course that even more British jobs would be sacrificed for the sake of something that there is not one shred of evidence about!
Nice move Dave, but a bit late for today is the day that the UKIP surge really begins!


Note:- The UKIP surge has been far greater than any of the present Politicians had vaguely considered, but the issues that the majority of ordinary people have voiced, have been raised.

Why should we pay a fortune to finance the EU’s incompetence, all we need is a Free Trade Europe, why should we have the worst of Europe foisted on our country without reasonable control, we are delighted to have hard working honest immigrants that respect our laws, life style and integrate into our communities.

Why should we have fat too many senior staff in the NHS, who are not medical, the list is ever growing of quango’s and bureaucrats.

Sadly the EU is like the Eurovision Song Contest, a good concept initially, now it is tactical voting to screw the UK, if it was scrupulously fair and honest it would again be good, too many people have jumped on the Gravy Train of self interest and fat salaries with greater demands for money to vanish into a Black Hole of Incompetence.