Monthly Archives: March 2014

Monthly Update on the Smoking World, as always worth reading, whether you smoke or not.

Simple Simon Says…..!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

The people on the ground floor are cursing…… !

Smoking bans KILL businesses-FACT

Well folks poor old Simple Simon has been ‘off course’ for nearly three weeks due to necessary stays at the ‘Hotel du Hospital’, but never mind-this boy is back with avengeance! Ambulance crews are excellent, they do a superb job yet they are being targetted for cost cutting as well as most other parts of the by a government that doesn’t really know if it is on its head or its arse. What I do now know for certain is that the likes of ASH, CRUK, Fresh and all those other parasitic quangos are lining their own pockets at the expense of this countries welfare. Two of the ambulance personnel were discussing all matters financial v the when one of them mentioned the smoking ban….. well, I couldn’t resist it could I ! I asked them (through very painful gritted teeth) if they knew how much the SB was actually costing this country per calendar month? Their faces hit the pathway when I informed them that the figure was £1/2bn every month – “and what could the do with that,” I asked. They both recovered from the shock and declared that the SB had been nothing but a disaster and it turned out that one of their parents had been running a pub for years until….. you’ve guessed it!

Pumped full of morphine, we eventually arrived at our destination and I was wheeled in to the CDU department for urgent assessment; thankfully the morphine pumped through the canular had deadened the excruciating pain, so at least when I had to cough I didn’t bounce off the ceiling! X-rays and blood tests followed, IV drips and the pain management team were quickly on hand (thank the good Lord for that) and it was declared that I had not only cracked a rib through coughing, but had also torn the muscle away from some ribs. No wonder we were talking serious pain folks. All was going extremely well until an idiot Dr ( a young Indian lad) asked me “how many you smoking each day?”
What???
I looked at him in absolute astonishment and pointed at my bum – “where do I smoke these supposed daily cigarettes from then Einstein, from my anus?” I think he knew by my tone that he had angered me somewhat, especially when one of the more friendly nurses dragged him to one side and gently pointed out that I was a ‘lary’. He looked confused but failed to apologised. We will return to our Dr friend a little later.
It took a week to get everything under control. A week where I hardly dare move, a week where I had to suffer the indignity of being helped to the toilet, helped to wash and even to walk round the bed. Nebulisers were in abundance, pain killers by the bucketful and Lidocaine patches every night, but the service was absolutely fantastic, superb in fact!
Our ‘friendy’ little Dr reappeared on the 5th day as an old  chap opposite me was struggling to breathe properly-mind you, he still managed to stagger off outside for a cigarette whenever the fancy took him, bless him. This numpty from the professional ranks of medicine had a right sarcastic go at “John”, telling him that he must give up smoking, that he had all the ‘quit tools’ to hand and that he would only shorten his lifespan if he didn’t. “John” looked at him in wonderment and said “I am 92 years old mate, how is quitting the only thing I have left going to make my life any better?” Well, I had to applaud this statement and, as I listened, I asked the Dr how he could state that NRT gave you a 20% chance of giving up smoking when the ‘ONS’ had already stated that NRT had a 98.4% FAILURE rate because to my mind 1.6 x 4 = 6.4% chance of success – not 20%. He refused to answer. He asked me where I got my 98.4% figure from (?????)
He then started on about Champix etc so I verbally pulled him over to my bed to debate this matter. What he told me was unbelievable, it really was. As far as he was concerned it didn’t really matter if Champix was responsible for over 2,000 deaths/compensation claims in America because people shouldn’t be smoking in the first place! (I was beginning to wonder if this medical madman was the son of Arnott in disguise!)
I then asked why 80% of lung cancer cases occurred in NON-smokers, why 49% of lung transplants actually came from smokers and why traffic fumes, home cooking & milk had not been banned by this or any other government? “Smoking is a filthy habit” was his only response as he quickly disappeared. A couple of the nurses silently applauded and smiled. They were smokers but they said that they had to be very careful about ‘break time drags’ because of nosey anti smoking jihadists like our ‘friendly’ Dr. (I have absolutely no doubt that he would report them!)
After a week I came home for a few days, only for the same thing to happen again, only this time I actually managed to break a rib. Straight back in & same medical respite scenario as before. Different ambulance crew but one of them asked me if I was the guy that knew all about the costs of the smoking ban because they were ‘pissed off with having to put up with all the cost cutting within the NHS’. They had obviously been talking about it amongst themselves in the office or where-ever they all meet up to discuss things. When you look at the costs of this ridiculous ban and set it against the disgraceful financial stripping of the one thing this country can be proud of (the ). I for one could not agree more.   The health lobby have become so entrenched in politics, in this and other countries, that common sense has gone right out of the window.

 

What indeed could the do with £1/2bn every month? An awful lot when you think that my mob (Leicester Hospitals) need to borrow £40m just to keep going! £40m loan just to keep going, saving people’s lives, attending to all manner of weird & wonderful illnesses yet this wonderful ‘peoples service’ is being cash starved because of the most ridiculous ideology emanating from the World Health Organisation who seemingly no longer care about all those starving Africans dying by the roadside!
When nurses state the obvious that the smoking ban has failed abysmally and ambulance crews start complaining about cost cutting due to enormous amounts being spent elsewhere I think it is time for the likes of Camoron and the Millipede to stop flapping their arms hopelessly about and get down to the serious business of amending the one law that is financially crippling this country!

‘Fatty’ Abbottbuckle disses drinkers & smokers as she slips away from public view!

Just look at what we have, supposedly representing us in Westminster! A most unhealthy looking and now deposedShadow Health Minister” in the voloptuous shape of Diane Abbott who advocates Plain Packaging but can’t bring herself to provide any concrete evidence on the matter. Apparently “Only UKIP voters Drink & Smoke”. Must mean that UKIP now have 30,000,000 supporters at least! Also seems that Abbott will not be leading Labours anti obesity campaign either!

Balls to Stop - Leicester stop smoking service

No doubt much to our friendly Drs chagrin, Leicester’s very own “Stop Smoking” campaign has decided to embrace the e-cigarette. Perhaps Louise Ross has finally accepted the truth that smokers smoke because they enjoy smoking and that all their silly NRT products are in fact useless! I wonder when other anti smoking nutters will follow suit? Finding the same toxins in human breath has made the anti vaping/smoking brigade look even more baseless-not that they will ever be embarrassed by such obvious truths for they have marched too far down the road of corruption to back down now!

 
Not cigarette smoke, as you may have thought!

You remember the Jill Pell miracle studies on heart attacks & then asthma attacks??? well, if you thought they were impressive what about this monumental load of bilge from over the water? Irish health freaks have now declared that the smoking ban has been a major success in all walks of life-despite the fact that more than 1,000 bars/pubs/clubs etc have closed and the country is bankrupt! Chris Snowdon rips their stupidity apart quite nicely.
And while the Irish ‘celebrate failure’  as only the Irish Health Ministry could, we find that Bhutan has revoked its tobacco laws as they have suddenly realised the enormous cost to their society as smugglers reap the rewards of tobacco sales!
One of the worlds leading ‘lights’ of corrupt anti tobacco science has starred again, but this time Mr Stanton Glantz has excelled himself (  http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1840772http://antithrlies.com/2014/03/07/stanton-glantz-is-such-a-liar-that-even-the-acs-balks/ ) as the ACS (American Cancer Society) have baulked at his idiotic assertions: the man is basically a charlatan and a liar!
As the smoking ban makes life tougher and tougher for all those would be bar workers, especially on the continent, we find that Spain have now set a new world record as youth unemployment reaches 56.1%! All power to the politicians for listening to the unelected and unrealistic fools at the WHO-are they going to find all these youngsters any work? I think not! And back at home we find that Cleggs ilLiberal unDems were outed altogether in a Nottingham by-election….. by the KING himself, or at least his party. The Elvis Party

In fourth place was David Bishop, from the Bus-Pass Elvis Party, who secured 67 votes, 11 more than Lib Dem Tony Marshall who managed just 56.

 
Elvis put Clegg in the ghetto!

Bye Bye Cleggy, Cleggy bye bye, doo dooby doo…..your time has come to be gone as you (and your bunch of cranky europhiles) have wasted too much of our political time. You will get a nice pension and no doubt a nice kushti job in Brussels doing something totally useless so you won’t be skint like 20% of the British people!
Talking of Spanish unemployment, isn’t it staggering to hear politicians telling us that we need MORE migrant workers to fill jobs here when 1,500 people queued for hours to try and get one of forty positions available . You see folks, politicians cannot stop lying to us, they cannot help themselves. but when someone comes along and “speaketh without forked tongue” the long knives are out immediately and smear campaigns begin in ernest. Truth has no part in politics, ask Tony Blair if you want confirmation, so our truthmaster, Mr Nigel Farage will always face an uphill battle to ‘right’ this country and rid the place of nannyists and the do gooders that are doing exceedinbgly badly!
When the people on the ground floor ( ) suddenly start seeing the light, you know that the time for change is upon us. When our greatest national asset ( ) is under financial threat because of inanities from outside influences then it is time for new government & common sense!

VAT Late Payment, facts every business should know and you probably don’t.

If you pay your VAT late to HMRC, even one day late, your account will be marked for a VAT penalty called a ‘default surcharge’. The first late payment doesn’t attract a penalty, but the second occasion on which you are late within 12 months triggers a penalty of 2% of the VAT due. The third, fourth, and fifth occasions of lateness increase the percentage of the penalty to 5%, 10% then 15% of the VAT due.

You may not notice the first two penalties set at 2% and 5% of the VAT due as HMRC will only demand payment from a small business if the total penalty amounts to over £400. However, you will receive a warning letter, and you should appeal against the penalty if you had a reasonable excuse for paying late.

Not having the money available to pay your VAT bill is not a reasonable excuse. If your business has a cash flow problem you need to ask the HMRC business support service for time to pay before the VAT becomes payable. The number to ring is: 0300 200 3835 site here, and it’s open every day. Don’t ring the VAT helpline as they can’t deal with VAT debt issues.

If your VAT payment was delayed by circumstances outside your control, for example a computer failure at your bank, that would be a reasonable excuse. However, you do need to present evidence of this reason when asking HMRC to review the penalty. Around 60% of VAT penalties are overturned on review.

Capital Renew provide many businesses with funds (even for late VAT) for contact see here

If you need further advice on debt then please contact Twinpier

County court judgments, how to gain access to this information, 192.com.

County court judgments 
Did you know that you can check 192.com to find out out whether someone has county court judgments (CCJs) against them?A county court judgment is not a criminal record, but shows that a financial claim has been made successfully against an individual, usually for some kind of debt. It can provide a warning flag about someone that you are dealing with – these judgments are often used by credit agencies, for example.There are two ways to check 192.com to see if someone has CCJs.
1) People search
When you find someone on 192.com, if you have Full Access credits in your account, you’ll see a link marked ‘Search Court Judgments’ – click on this and we’ll immediately tell you whether the person has any county court judgments against them (at a cost of one credit) at that address.SEARCH NOW »

2) Background report
If you need a comprehensive report on an individual, showing information from a variety of sources, then it’s worth getting a 192.com Background Report, which includes whether the person has county court judgments against them.

BACKGROUND REPORT »

How expendable are your Customers and Customer Service, (Barrel-Dregs 264)

Bad Beer For ExportVodaphone and their customer care.

An elderly, active colleague who works in the Leisure Industry, who is hard of hearing, had been a customer of Vodaphone for 10 years plus, to say the least.

He had his own account and until January last year, had absolutely no problems with the company.

In January 2013,  he found that he had been charged for an expensive phone, which he had not ordered.

He duly drove the eight miles to the Vodaphone shop and the nightmare started, it appears that his eldest stepson, who is lawyer, does not live at the same address, does not have the same surname, had bought a new phone and he had been charged for it, in addition somehow or other his account had been merged with his stepsons.

Not a problem, you would have thought, separate the accounts, seven visits later and many phone calls, the manager finally, supposedly separates the accounts, he makes out a new DD, end of story you would have thought.

Vodaphone gave him a complimentary phone, which he can’t hear and several months free calls after putting his old phone in, which he owned in part exchange.

Fine until January this year (2014) and a formal letter from Vodaphone saying that he is arrears, his phone has been stopped from making out going calls, he immediately rushed into the Vodaphone shop again, asked why the account had stopped and was told the DD had been cancelled and was told the Bank had done it.

The bank knew absolutely nothing about it, it had been cancelled by Vodaphone.

Like the veritable Lamb to the Slaughter he paid the arrears, made out another DD on the same account, a week or so later receives a text (He doesn’t do Texts) saying that he is in arrears again.

He immediately rushed back into the Vodaphone Shop again and was told in no uncertain terms that a fraud had been committed and he was responsible, his stepsons name was on his account and he had access to it.

Had he given him permission to access the account?

He said that he hadn’t.

After a discussion with his stepson, he remembered that Vodaphone the previous January 2013 had asked for access by his stepson to separate the account, unfortunately they had not removed his name, after supposedly separating the accounts, immediately blaming him for all the ills to the account.

Who cancelled the DD, what happened to the original DD, Vodaphone had no idea, his stepson had no knowledge of the password, since Vodaphone were supposed to separate the accounts again and he had no reason to access the account.

He sent a formal letter of complaint to Vodaphone, to find a confirmation letter of the DD set up from Vodaphone, addressed to another of his sons, who has not lived in the UK for thirteen years at another address at least a mile away from his home with all his Bank Details on it, fortunately the letter was pushed through his door, which could have been a serious problem in the wrong hands.

He then sent a letter to the Chairman of Vodaphone with all the details and a copy to the Ombudsman and received absolutely no response whatsoever.

Not only has he a DD made out to someone else at another address, who doesn’t live there and emigrated 13 years ago and is very unlikely to return to the UK, but he could be paying for someone else’s phone again.

Umpteen phone calls to Vodaphone who deny everything, they do not send bank details to other people at other addresses, they will call back when they have checked, nothing happens.

Another phone call, out of many and Vodaphone finally offer compensation after it is pointed out that they have seriously breached the Data Protection Act, a refund of all the previous years payments and release from the contract, sanity at last, they will call back and confirm the arrangements, no phone call.

Another call and the whole attitude has changed, as soon as the compensation is mentioned, the conversation gets strained, he asks to speak to a manager and is told they will ring back within twenty-four hours, he insists that he speaks to one now, the woman puts the phone down on him.

All he now wants to do, is to close the Vodaphone account and find a mobile phone that works, it appears that the free phone that he was given has insufficient memory and constantly cuts out in the middle of the very occasional calls that he makes, a minor problem, Vodaphone insist that he has to pay £154 to be released from the contract, they claim they have done nothing wrong, this is in January.

He has all the documentation and lodges a complaint with the Ombudsman, immediately two letters arrive from Vodaphone, one apologising for the inconvenience of the DD problem, the other  saying that the payments had been sorted out and it would cost over a £160 to be released from his contract, also this figure reduces on a daily basis, it is now two months later from the first quote.

However if he hands his handset back they will immediately release him from his contract, the fact that his old Iphone, which he owned had been handed in, in  part exchange for the apparently cheapest phone that Vodaphone do, from the subsequent staff comments and a free call period has no bearing on the issue.

Further phone calls and a very aggressive Scottish woman, denies that they have done anything wrong in breaching the Data Protection Act, there would be no compensation, he had not been accused of fraud and he would have to pay to get out of their contract.

The Ombudsman cannot act for another ten days, Vodaphone are allowed eight weeks to resolve a complaint, he takes the only option pass the handset back to Vodaphone, which he does, he loses all his records etc. and buys a new phone through another company.

This is a true story and well documented having seen the correspondence from Vodaphone, if any of us treated valued customers like this we would be out of business in a shot.

There is a very slim chance that someone in Vodaphone may read this and change their customer services approach.

Ironically, when he handed the phone back to Vodaphone, they insisted that he would have to speak to their Head Office, he pointed out that with this hand set he couldn’t hear what they are saying anyway.

The Manager made a call on the handset and it cut out shortly afterwards, it did this every time that she used it, she said the battery was flat, it had been fully charged and turned off, before returning it.

Changing accounts is a nightmare as with the Energy Companies, they set up a contract that you cannot get out of without paying them an extortionate fee, regardless of their actions or incompetence, this is very wrong and should be changed if the company breaches its agreement.

The Ombudsman is a very slow option and extremely inconvenient for a busy person to change their mobile phone, Vodaphone will walk away from it, they have lost another customer, who is unimportant in the cycle of things.

It is not easy to change your phone, unless you know how to protect your information and transfer it and be assured they will make it as difficult as possible unless it is at the end of a contract.

Our only comment to Vodaphone, customer service is vital to success, if you are so big that customer service is unimportant, you don’t deserve the business.

Barfly

The views expressed are not necessarily the editors and www.buyingapub.com 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.

 

 

Damages awarded after Enterprise breaches code of practice in latest PICAS case

Damages awarded after Enterprise breaches code of practice in latest PICAS case

By Rob Willock, 11-Mar-2014

Enterprise Inns was found to have committed technical breaches of its code of practice in the latest case to reach the Pubs Independent Conciliation & Arbitration Service (PICA-Service).

http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/General-News/Damages-awarded-after-Enterprise-breaches-code-of-practice-in-latest-PICAS-case

Morgan & Clarke, Monthly Newsletter on Property/Leases and other useful information

MORGAN & CLARKE  MARCH 2014 NEWSLETTER NO. 30

Pigeon House, The Broadway,

Oakridge Lynch, Stroud, Glos. GL6 7NU

Email: info@morganandclarke.co.uk   Phone:  01285 719292

www.morganandclarke.co.uk

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

 

Well, it’s stopped raining!   It was an unexpected luxury to have a couple of recent full days’ uninterrupted sunshine which tends to remind you of how wet and uninviting the winter period has been and how it has kept people indoors rather than going down to the pub.   Hopefully all that will change.   This March Newsletter is a mixed bag of updates, legislation and news, starting off with a record of a substantial victory for common sense.

 

1.  Enterprise Inns’ Deed of Variation

The full detail of the then new Deed of Variation issued by Enterprise Inns was covered in item number 5 of our January 2014 Newsletter, No.28.   Further progress was also observed last month in item number 4, which has now led to Enterprise Inns confirming that the errant Deed of Variation which had been in place between October 2013 and February 2014, has now been withdrawn and its existence was “an error”.  

 

What should be remembered is that David Morgan only acted on a general moan from Mike Wilkins of the Rose & Crown, Godalming, when the offending, altered Deed of Variation was presented to him as a “must sign” or else he would not be given the very substantial rent reduction that we had negotiated for him and which was confirmed in January 2014.   Indeed, it was confirmed to Mike Wilkins that the Deed of Variation was a very simple affair and under no circumstances would he either be credited  with the back rent, or have the new rent set on his rent account until he signed the document.   Fortunately, a new Deed has now been granted and hopefully we are back to the situation where the Deed of Variation is only issued to confirm upwards and downwards rent reviews.

 

It is still a complete mystery as to why only Enterprise Inns insist upon this little legal nicety.  In any event, it only confirms the upwards and downwards situation for one specific rent review and not subsequent reviews.   Hopefully the Industry Framework Code which has now been adopted, will give further strength to the position that the Deed of Variation is really not required.

 

2.  TUPE Regulations

You may remember that the purpose of the TUPE regulations which were first past in 1981, were formulated to protect employees if the business in which they are employed, changes hands.   This happens on every freehold pub sale, or lease assignment.

 

The last significant overhaul was in 2006 to comply with the European Union’s Acquired Rights Directive.   However, as of 31st January this year, there have been further reforms which have:

 

  1. Made it easier to change terms of employment after a TUPE transfer;
  2. Supplied new rules for collective agreements after 12 months from the transfer date;
  3. Opened up a wider reason for dismissal on grounds of economic, technical or organisational reasons (ETO);
  4. The ETO defence seems to have been widened to cover redundancy as a result of the change of work location.

     

    So, if a small chain of pubs is sold and the new owner requires the chef, for instance, to move 50 miles to another unit within the pub chain, that would now not be automatically construed as being constructive dismissal.   As ever, the devil is in the detail and if you are just about to purchase a going concern and are looking over some of the staff that you are not impressed with, please have a word with your Employment Law Solicitor as the latest TUPE regulation changes, do appear to be wide-ranging.

     

    3.  PIRRS RENT DETERMINATIONS – LIMITED REASONED AWARDS

    Matters are now moving on in that the recent PIRRS referrals that Morgan & Clarke have been promoting, are now reaching the nominated PIRRS Experts.   In every instance, we have been seeking confirmation that a limited Reasoned Determination will be made available.   It now seems that the PIRRS Valuers, on advice from the R.I.C.S. must follow the “full reasons” route and the extra cost would now seem to be £1,500 plus AT.

     

    Worth the cost?   What we are seeking is an understanding of process.   Why?   Very simple really because if you know how the current rent review was calculated and on what basis, you then have a solid template for the consideration of issues that may or may not have changed in a subsequent rent review.

     

    The fundamental error with the PIRRS system as it was originally structured, was that neither party had the vaguest clue as to how the Rent Determination was calculated, so automatically, at the next rent review, the same adversarial contact is opened up like a can of worms, specifically because of the lack of transparency on the earlier review.

     

    Hopefully this has now been resolved and the transparency that should result, will ease the process of future negotiation and cut down the expensive adversarial conduct of some current rent review negotiations.   On that basis alone, the extra cost – particularly if shared between both parties – is well worth it.   Unless, of course, you are Enterprise Inns who currently will have nothing to do with cost sharing, yet want to see the Determination.   Wonder why?

     

    4,  “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive”

    Tipping our corporate hat to Robert Sales and his recent past, very tongue-in-cheek piece on the PMA Forums concerning the ease with which you can manipulate calculations, we thought you might be interested in a truly spectacular example of two Rent Review Notices that were issued by a Pubco regarding the same property and the differences between a summary of the calculation points of interest.

     

    The first Rent Review Notice which was served in all seriousness for the acceptance of the lessee, was in November 2013.   The second Notice “after due consideration” was served in February 2014, again in all seriousness for the acceptance of the lessee.   On both occasions the author of the two Rent Review Notices, had taken over from a predecessor and had not even bothered to inspect the interior of the property which further compounds the weight of opinion evidence that should be attached to the calculations.   No prizes for spotting the difference!

     

 

November 2013

 

 

February 2014

 

Wet

262,063

 

222,217

 

Dry

161,980

(GP 62%)

190,667

(GP 58%)

Accommodation

97,505

(GP 90%)

92,820

(GP 100%)

Other

94,293

(GP 95%)

236,954

(GP 100%)

Total Sales

615,841

 

742,658

 

Total GP

416,737

(67.7%)

560,772

(75.5%)

Total Costs

258,268

(41.9%)

389,110

(52.4%)

Wages

133,001

(21.6%)

203,008

(27.3%)

Repairs/Maintenance

12,500

(2%)

29,167

(3.9%)

Rent Bid

79,500

(52.8%)

84,000

(52%)

Interest on Capital

8%

 

10%

 

 

The rent negotiations are still on-going, so no names!   You just couldn’t make it up, could you?

 

5.  RPI / CPI

The Bank of England has confirmed that inflation has now fallen below the 2% target for the first time in four years.   The new inflation rate of 1.9% in January 2014, was somewhat unexpected and has been contributed to such items such as DVD films, recreation, culture, furniture and household goods, together with alcoholic beverages and tobacco which appear to have recorded their smallest month-on-month percentage price increases since February 2010.

 

The old Retail Price Index which is still utilised in a large number of automatic annual rent rises in Pubco leases, actually rose in January 2014 to 2.8% from 2.7%.   It would also seem that the Consumer Price Index now stands at 1.9%.   Surprisingly, there were very few quotable quotes from either Government or the Opposition, with the one exception of Cathy Jamieson, the shadow Treasury Minister, who welcomed the small fall in inflation, but said that prices still continued to rise much faster than wages:  hence the squeeze on disposable income in the On-trade.

 

6.  The Planning Loophole

One of the major contentions in the planning use reference of a public house, is the ease with which you can transfer within the same Use Class Order, for something completely different.   The main area of contention is that you do not require planning approval for Change of Use, to change a pub into a local convenience store such as is being offered by Tesco Express, Sainsbury, Budgens and of course now, Morrisons.

 

Morgan & Clarke have had a disturbing number of ‘flyers’ from the major retail groups, seeking big pubs that are “probably not doing terribly well”, specifically for change of use to neighbourhood retail outlets.

 

This disturbing trend impacts on the ease with which properties can come out of a Pubco’s core estate, if the offers made on an unconditional basis for such a change of use, substantially exceed book value.   We have seen a number of deals recently where freeholds have been sold over the head of lessees, on the understanding of the current lease having less than five years to run.

 

The downside of this tactic, which is entirely legal, is that the new owner who is a nominee company of a major supermarket chain, at lease renewal then (and again quite legally), stands against the issuance of a fresh pub lease on the basis of requiring the premises for redevelopment for retail use.  

 

There is an element of this tactic in the disclosure last week that the figures from the latest CGA-CAMRA Pub Tracker which confirms that net pub closures have now reached 28 per week.   Of those 28, free-of-supply-tie pubs accounted for 11 closures per week, which is precisely the area that our earlier comments focused on, in that the supermarket nominee would have allowed the lessee of the previous Pubco property, to trade free-of-tie and then at lease renewal, brought down the shutters.   It is understood that CAMRA are pressing the Government to act to close this alarming planning loophole.

 

7.  Minimum Wage Rate

The current minimum adult wage rate that came into effect on 7th March 2014, is now £6.31p.   Higher fines have now been confirming, having risen from 50% to 100% of under-payments with the maximum penalty going up from £5,000 to £10,000.

 

8.  And Finally

“That’s your third brandy and it’s only nine o’clock in the morning”

“It’s Norma, she’s left me”

“That was 35 years ago”

“Yes, but I still miss her”  (Jack Benny and George Burns)

 

“He puts down half a bottle of whisky a day and has two convictions for drunken driving, but otherwise he is a pillar of society”.   (Alan Bennett)

 

 

Best wishes from the Team at M & C

Email:  info@morganandclarke.co.uk

Phone: 01285 719292