Monthly Archives: June 2014

What now for self-regulation of the pub sector in the interim?

What now for self-regulation of the pub sector in the interim?

ALMR Press Notice

Statutory Code draws a line under damaging uncertainty, says ALMR Responding to today’s publication of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, which will introduce a Statutory Code for pub companies, the ALMR has hailed the end of prolonged uncertainty and the establishment of clarity for British publicans.

The Bill will also introduce a Pubs Adjudicator, based on the Groceries Code Adjudicator, to rule on disputes and contains a triennial review provision to assess the continued effectiveness and necessity of the statutory regulations.

ALMR Strategic Affairs Director Kate Nicholls said: “We are pleased to see the Government has finally set out its position on the relationship between pubcos and their tenants.

This draws a line under a long period of uncertainty which has undoubtedly hampered investment in our sector.

“The publication of today’s Bill provides some helpful clarity on the way in which the Government intends to proceed in this area and confirms that they will move swiftly to implement these measures.

The focus on rent calculations, transparency of information provided by the pub company and the ability to request a review in exceptional circumstances is also to be welcomed.

That for us remains key, and we are pleased that the Bill commits Ministers to act within the year.

“We do, however, want to understand how the Code will apply to short term temporary agreements and to agreements entered into before the Bill’s provisions take effect.

This is hinted at but not set out in any detail on the face of the Bill. And of course, the devil remains in the detail of the Code’s actual clauses, which will only be determined at a later date.

The draft published by BIS is a good overview, but there is much work still to do to ensure that it delivers statutory regulation at least as comprehensive as the current voluntary Code.

“The sector needs stability and consistency to ensure a fair, free and flexible market and its continued ability to promote jobs and growth right across the UK.”

Michael Clarke Public Affairs Executive Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers 9b Walpole Court, Ealing Studios, London, W5 5ED Tel: 020 8579 2080 Mob: 07857 302 876

Sir Peter Luff MP, Chairman of the Pub Governing Body

Use Co logo ALMR

Sir Peter Luff MP, Chairman of the Pub Governing Body

Please look at the Question in red at the bottom of the ALMR article, your comments would be appreciated, if you feel that this question is correct, please send it to Sir Peter Luff as Chairman.

The Pub Governing Body, the body responsible for overseeing the current self-regulatory regime for tied pubs, including the independent redress mechanisms of PIRRS and PICAS, today announced the appointment of Sir Peter Luff MP as the new, independent chairman. The appointment process was started under the Chairmanship of Bernard Brindley, whom he will succeed.

Welcoming the appointment, Tim Hulme on behalf of the PGB said:

“We are delighted to welcome such a well-respected, authoritative and impartial figure as Sir Peter to the Chairmanship of the PGB. Having Chaired the initial Business & Enterprise Select Committee inquiries in the last Parliament, Sir Peter is well versed in the ins and outs of this debate yet still brings a fresh perspective to our work. He has the necessary political experience not only to plough an objective furrow but also to bring the two sides closer together to help resolve outstanding problems”.

Sir Peter Luff said:

“I am pleased to be taking up Chairmanship of the PGB at this point in time. Following the recent Government announcement, it is vital that we continue to have the strongest possible self-regulatory regime in place and that tenants continue to have access to an effective, fair and low cost method of independent redress when things go wrong.”

Tim Hulme concluded:

“Bernard Brindley devoted the last years of his working life to trying to bring about an effective solution in this area and I know that I and the other Board members will work with our new Chairman to drive that forward”.

Ends

Notes for editors

  1. The Pub Governing Body (PGB) is responsible for establishing the rules of governance and case protocols for both the Pubs Independent Rent Review Scheme (PIRRS) and Pubs Independent Conciliation and Arbitration Service (PICA-Service). 2. The Pubs Independent Rent Review Scheme (PIRRS) which offers an accessible, independent, low cost rent review resolution service, to the licensed industry has been extended to also deal with rents concerning tenancy renewals under circumstances where terms of the new Lease or Tenancy Agreement have been agreed between the parties. Capped fees enable tenants and landlords to resolve disputes in a fair and timely manner.

3. The Pubs Independent Conciliation and Arbitration Service (PICA-Service) offers an accessible, independent, low cost dispute resolution service, to the licensed industry. Capped fees enable tenants/lessees and Pub Companies/Breweries to resolve disputes in a fair and timely manner.

4. The Pub Governing Body Board of Directors consists of: Kate Nicholls (Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers), Tim Hulme (British Institute of Innkeeping), Bill Sharp (Guild of Master Victuallers), Martin Caffrey (Federation of Licensed Victuallers), Nick Griffin (Brighton and Hove Licensee Association), Brigid Simmons & Jim Cathcart (British Beer and Pub Association), Mike Clist (Fullers) and George Barnes (Shepherd Neame).

5. Secretariat is provided by the BII; Tim Hulme can be contacted on: tim.hulme@bii.org or 07771 764183. 6. Kate Nicholls can be contacted on knicholls@almr.org.uk or 020 8579 2080.

Chris Banks

Communications Executive

Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers

9b Walpole Court, Ealing Studios, London, W5 5E

Question:-Why does the BBPA have two Directors on the Board and an additional two Pub Co Directors in addition, the representation from serving licensees, who are the largest group of individuals who will be affected by decisions by this body has the lowest representation.

This raises  possible question marks about vested interests by Pub Co’s to the detriment of the Government intentions to level the playing field for the people who have been affected by Pub Co’s and subject to four Government Inquiries into pub Co activity.

I assume that the aim of this august body is to make pubs successful and give licensees a career for life, not to endorse the activities of the wealthy minority in the face of possible Government Legislation.

Barfly 

Latest Licensing News (Increased Fines & Pass Card goes live)

JG & Partners

Latest Licensing News (Increased Fines & Pass Card goes live)

PASS Card Goes Live

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 05:00 PM PDT

Further to our news article of 7 May 2014, we confirm that PASS was re-launched on the 10 June with the new standardised PASS card. The new scheme is supported by the Home Office, Trading Standards Institute, Security Industry Authority and ACPO. Numerous Police forces confirmed on the day support in favour of this form of ID and gave strong advice against the practice of carrying valuable ID such as passports which, if lost or stolen, can be used by criminals as well as causing inconvenience and costs to those who have to replace them.

The new standardised design is shown below and further details can be found at http://www.pass-scheme.org.uk/new-pass-card/.

 

New Pass Card

 

Operators are recommended to follow the five step PASS process:

  1. Check the design – does it conform to the template?
  2. Check the hologram – is it genuine?
  3. Check the photo – does it match the card holder?
  4. Check the card – has it been tampered with?
  5. Check the person – are you totally satisfied?

Magistrates’ Court fines – proposed increase

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 05:00 PM PDT

It has been reported that the Government is considering raising the maximum limits in relation to the standard scale for fines, effectively quadrupling them in most instances with a suggestion of providing Magistrates with unlimited fining powers where these are currently set at a maximum of £5,000 or more.

The following tables summarises the current and proposed position:

 

 

Scale Level Maximum fine – current Maximum fine – proposed
1 £200 £800
2 £500 £2,000
3 £1,000 £4,000
4 £2,500 £10,000
5 £5,000 Unlimited

 

The vast majority of offences under the Licensing Act 2003 would be affected by such changes and the following table includes the most notable.

 

Offence LA 2003 (section) Level
Failure to leave licensed premises on request when drunk or disorderly s.143 Level 1
Unsupervised sales by children s.153 Level 1
Failure of premises licence holder to update name or address s.33 Level 2
Failure to display or produce premises licence s.57 Level 2
Failure to produce personal licence s.135 Level 2
Failure of personal licence holder to update name or address s.127 Level 2
Failure to produce personal licence to Court when charged with a relevant offence s.128 Level 2
Keeping alcohol on premises for unauthorised sale s.138 Level 2
Allowing disorderly conduct on licensed premises s.140 Level 3
Sale of alcohol to a person who is drunk s.141 Level 3
Obtaining alcohol for a person who is drunk s.142 Level 3
Permitting unaccompanied under 16s on certain premises s.145 Level 3
Purchase of alcohol by children s.149 Level 3
Under 18 knowingly consuming alcohol on relevant premises s.150 Level 3
Obstructing an authorised person investigating licensable activities s.179 Level 3
Failure to notify licensing authority of relevant convictions during personal licence application period s.123 Level 4
Sale of alcohol to children s.146 Level 5
Allowing the sale of alcohol to children s.147 Level 5
Purchase of alcohol on behalf of children s.149 Level 5
Knowingly allowing the consumption of alcohol on relevant premises by children s.150 Level 5
Delivering alcohol to children s.151 Level 5
Sending a child to obtain alcohol s.152 Level 5
Knowingly or recklessly making a false statement in connection with applications s.158 Level 5

 

Licensing and Planning latest Issues (A nasty sting in the tail)

JG & Partners

 

Licensing and Planning latest Issues (A nasty sting in the tail)

External areas – planning issues? (This is essential Reading)

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 05:00 PM PDT

We have been alerted to a recent planning case which may impact on developments of external areas and particularly ‘loose’ furniture. More

Colman v Westminster City Council – reported in the Journal of Planning and Environment Law – involved a number of procedural issues but the Inspector concluded that some relatively common things externally amount to development for planning purposes. The Inspector’s conclusion that “the timber seating benches are structures which fall within the definition of a ‘building’ for planning purposes” is perhaps a possible surprise (see quote below). Given that operators are likely to have similar timber structures outside premises their position in terms of planning should perhaps be considered, if not already covered off – and perhaps not overlooked on any garden ‘refurbishment’ going forward.

The full reported extract of the case can be viewed here.

The relevant quote follows:

10. The Council submits that the installation of the timber decking and the erection of the timber seating are works that constitute building operations and they have materially altered the external appearance of the existing building. In assessing whether what has taken place falls within the statutory definition of a building, there are three primary factors that are relevant: size, permanence and physical attachment. No one factor is decisive and the assessment is one of fact and degree.

11. When I visited the site I saw that the timber seating is not physically attached to the timber decking. However, these benches are sizeable and weighty elements that are not easily moved. Furthermore, they are maintained in position and are not taken away overnight. Whilst the Appellant claims that they are not permanent, they are clearly not intended to be moved around this fairly restricted area. They have been in place for a sufficient length of time to be of significance in the planning context. Their presence was noticed by local residents. Applying the three-fold test, as a matter of fact and degree, I conclude that the timber seating benches are structures which fall within the definition of a “building” for planning purposes. Their provision within the forecourt amounted to the carrying out of a building operation which constitutes development under s.55(1)

 

Be aware.

Revised Guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 05:00 PM PDT

The Guidance issued under Section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003 has been revised with the new Guidance coming into force today (4 June).

The revision has primarily been made in consequence of the Licensing Act 2003 (Mandatory Conditions) Order 2014 (“the Order”) to provide Licensing Authorities with advice in relation to their exercise of these new functions in respect of the new ban on sales of alcohol ‘below the permitted price’.

Most of the revisions are contained in Chapter 10 (Conditions attached to premises licences and club premises certificates) in consequence of the Order, but a limited number of revisions and corrections are also made elsewhere in the guidance to improve its clarity and consistency.

It is also interesting to note that Chapter 16 (Early Morning Alcohol Restriction Orders (EMROs)) has been revised to give greater clarity to Licensing Authorities on the process for introducing an EMRO; possibly as a result of technical points raised in previous EMRO applications such as that by our own John Gaunt in Blackpool which led to the full EMRO hearing in that matter being deferred on two occasions before the Licensing Committee determined not to recommend the adoption of the EMRO.In particular the revisions on EMRO’s deal with aspects around Evidence and Hearings.

With regards Evidence it states that The final decision to make an EMRO (or to vary or revoke one) must be made by the full council of the licensing authority. However, all preceding steps, including advertising the proposed EMRO, holding hearings and making a determination to put before the full council for its final decision, are for the licensing committee of the licensing authority. The licensing committee may delegate these steps to the licensing sub-committee or officers as it sees fit.

The revision in relation to hearings provides clarity in that although a hearing to consider representations in relation to an EMRO may be held by the licensing committee, the licensing sub-committee or an officer of the licensing authority, it is recommended that such hearings be conducted by the licensing committee or sub-committee…Probably a sensible idea!

The reviesed Guidance can be viewed in full by clicking here: ‘Revised Guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003

ALMR comments on the BII view on Pub Regulation

ALMR comments on the BII view on Pub Regulation and the Queen’s Speech offers pubs cheer Responding to today’s Queen’s Speech, setting out the legislative agenda for the final session of Parliament before the General Election, the ALMR welcomed the confirmation that a Small Business, Enterprise and Employment bill would be included, but warned Government not to give with one hand only to take with the other. The Bill will introduce additional protections for small businesses, particularly pubs and would also introduce regulation on the use of zero-hours contracts ALMR Strategic Affairs Director, Kate Nicholls said: “The Government pledges once again to tackle red tape and measures to force Departments to go further and faster in this area are welcome. Despite the Hospitality Red Tape Challenge, we still have not seen a significant reduction in the level of red tape being faced by operators on the ground. Few if any of the detailed proposals submitted by the industry have been taken forward. The Government can do much more to tackle legislative costs and bureaucracy in the sector and we hope that these measures go further in allowing businesses to invest and thrive.” “At the same time, care needs to be taken not to increase employment costs. The Government is right to make its focus the tackling of abuse rather than use of contract and pay terms but we need to ensure that pub, clubs and restaurants still retain the flexibility to invest in their staff and drive growth. “In the run-up to the General Election we hope that this Government can deliver on its much-publicised declaration of being ‘unashamedly pro-work and pro-business’.” BII view on Pub Regulation Commenting on the publication yesterday of the Government’s response to the consultation on future regulation of pub companies, Tim Hulme, commenting on behalf of the Pub Governing Body, said: “The Government response makes clear that the future of PIRRS and PICAS is in the hands of the industry and as a Governing Body we are committed to ensuring that all tenants at risk of unfair treatment are supported appropriately. The need for these bodies as low cost dispute resolution mechanisms will remain going forward and indeed their role will be ever more critical in the run up to the code being implemented. They have a vital role to play in resolving disagreements at an early stage and working to secure positive outcomes for tenants and lessees and might allow the statutory adjudicator to focus on the most intractable issues or systemic breaches” Importantly, with any model going forward, I hope that the work led by the late Bernard Brindley in driving forward PIRRS and PICAS isn’t overlooked” Kate Nicholls Strategic Affairs Director Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers

Statutory code: BIS minister Jenny Willott

Statutory code: BIS minister Jenny Willott writes for the PMA

Please click on the link for those that do not take the Morning Advertiser.

By Jenny Willott, 03-Jun-2014

BIS minister Jenny Willott writes exclusively for the Publican’s Morning Advertiser on the Government’s decision to introduce a statutory code of practice and adjudicator.

ALMR Press Notice – Immediate

 

Statutory code needs to bring transparency, says ALMR

 

Responding to the introduction of a statutory code for pub companies, the ALMR has welcomed an end to a prolonged period of uncertainty and the establishment of clarity for the sector. The ALMR has also emphasised the need for the code deliver a clear and concise framework for change.

 

The Government has today announced its response to the consultation establishing a statutory code and an independent adjudicator with the power to resolve disputes.

 

ALMR Strategic Affairs Director, Kate Nicholls said: “We are pleased to see the Government has finally set out its position on the relationship between pubcos and their tenants. This brings to an end a long period of uncertainty which has undoubtedly hampered investment in our sector.

 

“We are particularly pleased to see the Government addressing the issue of rent reviews and also recognising the hard work that has already been done by the ALMR and other trade bodies working to find a voluntary solution. In the interim, the voluntary scheme must remain robust and effective to ensure that this work is not undermined.

 

“It is critical that definitions and classifications within the statutory code are robust, clear and meaningful to ensure transparency and simplicity for the sector going forward. The contents of the draft code will need to be scrutinised to make certain that it has the capacity to deliver the meaningful change licensed hospitality needs.

 

“The sector needs stability and consistency to ensure a fair, free and flexible market and the continued ability to promote jobs and growth right across the UK.”

Chris Banks

Communications Executive

 

Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers

9b Walpole Court, Ealing Studios, London, W5 5ED Tel: 020 8579 2080