Monthly Archives: May 2016

Comments from the Sages, thoughts on the MRO and others


Comments from the Sages, thoughts on the MRO and others

An open letter to the Pubs Code adjudicator by Peter Holden

It has to be said the Pubs Code etc regulations 2016 have had an unhappy start. Starting with the consultation over the winter, resulting in many changes and leading to the news on 6 May the latest draft was being suspended while some errors are being addressed. All of this has not helped build confidence in the regulations themselves.

In fact, the last draft of the regulations contains many curious features and what appear to be multiple drafting errors. Some of the provisions contain a logic that is difficult to follow and others seem to have been drawn up by someone not well versed in the workings of the sector.

The regulations are made under the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, which says advice and guidance may be given by the adjudicator in a whole range of circumstances and to different groups. Obviously, you cannot change the legislation but it would help us all if you were to give us guidance on a number of issues.

These are for starters:

Read ON

The weeks comments by the Sages of the Industry


The weeks comments by the Sages of the Industry

The eternal appeal of fish and chips by Glynn Davis

While enjoying a trip to visit my family in Yorkshire recently we had what is a pretty rare meal for me – takeaway fish and chips. When I was younger growing up in the county this was a weekly treat but then when I moved south I was perennially disappointed whenever presented with this iconic dish so I gave up on it. I was later informed this was likely because I’d been brought up on my fish fried in beef dripping. Lusciously flavoursome but the delicate southerners apparently found this did not deliver the crispness of batter they required. They preferred a more tempura-style batter than the hardcore northern variety.

Apparently there are many regional taste variations with different oils, different fish, and different batter colours being preferred in various parts of the country. This is undoubtedly one of the reasons why there has never been a national fish and chip chain of any substance. Instead there are more than 10,000 largely independently owned fish and chip shops around the UK, with each having a tremendous amount of loyalty from their customers. NPD Group found the average shop has a relatively small but extremely loyal customer base of only 578 people. With such a small number these businesses thankfully see a lot more regular purchases from their customer base than the chains typically achieve.  Read More

New Pubs Code adjudicator defends appointment, reveals conflict of interest policy to be put in place:

Barrel-dregs 2

New Pubs Code adjudicator defends appointment, reveals conflict of interest policy to be put in place:

The government’s new Pubs Code adjudicator Paul Newby has defended his appointment and revealed he would put in a conflict of interest policy to act as a check and balance to his role. Newby, who has been working in the pub and pub property business for about 30 years, said he feels he has “[genuinely] seen it from all angles”. He took up the role of Pubs Code adjudicator on 2 May for an initial term of four years and will be responsible for enforcing the Pubs Code – new legislation that will govern the relationship between large pub-owning businesses and tied tenants in England and Wales that has been delayed following drafting errors. Newby told the Business, Innovation and Skills select committee: “I believe I can do the job fairly, lawfully…MORE

Latest May/June News in the Industry


Latest May/June News in the Industry

BHA co-led campaign calls for cut in tourism VAT to improve UK’s growing trade deficit:

The Cut Tourism VAT campaign, co-led by the British Hospitality Association (BHA), has called on the government to recognise the negative impact of tourism VAT on export figures and cut the rate on accommodation and tourist attractions from 20% to 5%. The BHA said a reduction to 5% would improve the UK’s trade deficit by £22.2bn over ten years. The call comes in response to figures published this week by the Office for National Statistics revealing the UK’s trade deficit for the first quarter is at its largest since 2008. The BHA said tourism deserved greater recognition as a tool for addressing the deficit. It said hospitality and tourism was the only UK industry to create one in five jobs in the past five years, with “potential to contribute even further to the economy with government support”. Dermot King, chairman of the Cut Tourism VAT campaign and managing director of Butlins, said: “The evidence behind the benefits of a reduction of tourism VAT to businesses, the national economy and British families has never been clearer. Analysis from Tourism Respect and Nevin Associates shows reducing tourism VAT from 20% to 5% would reduce the UK’s balance of trade deficit by £22.2bn over ten years – as well as increase the tax take by £4.2bn. Tourism is the UK’s only major export subject to 20% VAT – double the rate of the EU average. Growing numbers of MPs are joining our call to the Treasury for a reduction in VAT on tourism exports and we now need to win the hearts and minds of the British public who don’t realise they are being taxed harder than almost anyone else in Europe for simply going on holiday in their own country.” As well as the BHA, the Cut Tourism VAT campaign is led by Bourne Leisure Group, Merlin Entertainments Group, and the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions.

Luke Johnson – Brexit is a once in a lifetime opportunity to free ourselves:

Sector investor Luke Johnson has described the forthcoming Brexit vote as a once in a lifetime opportunity to “free ourselves” from the EU. In a City AM opinion piece, he wrote: “I love Europe. I love its food, culture and heritage. It is a continent I love to visit and do business with. But Europe is being torn apart by the European Union. Its two big political projects are in crisis. The euro has left national governments with huge debts and youth unemployment close to 50%, while the passport-free…. MORE

A question arises over the interpretation of the Act, regarding MRO?


A question arises over the interpretation of the Act, regarding MRO?

Some of you will have noticed stories in the press yesterday regarding the “pulling” of the pubs code by the BIS minister Anna Soubry.

We met with her yesterday at very short notice to hear from her what has happened.

She explained that a drafting error has meant the lawyers have to change a section of the code which if left as is would deny MRO to tenants who had “opted out” of the L&T act protections, they estimated that would effect @ 20% of pub tenants so it had to be pulled and redrafted to cover all tenants.

Since that meeting we have read the draft very carefully with our PAS team L&T experts and spotted that there is in fact nothing wrong with the wording! – it would seem to be the case that the BIS lawyers have failed to understand the L&T act sufficiently, that is to say when a pub tenant opts of of L&T protection you don’t then opt out of the whole L&T act as they have wrongly concluded.

We are working hard with Government to ensure they take swift action to get the code back on track for May 26th – however the timetable of the commons is fragmented (Euro referendum etc) which means a delay is almost a certainty.

They anticipate the delay to be around 1 month (at worst) and 2 weeks at best – therefore if any members have a rent review that falls during the period May 26th – July 7th please contact me urgently in the office on 02036513351

Quick reminder don’t forget next Weds May 11th MRO workshop event, i may be doing a call around later to remind members but for now tickets are still available,

Pleas use this link >

Regards, Chris for the MROAS Team

Outrage as pubs code is delayed due to MRO loophole

Beer Pump Handles

Outrage as pubs code is delayed due to MRO loophole

By Oli GrossOli Gross, 05-May-2016

The pubs code has been delayed after a loophole was spotted in the legislation which would have made many licensees ineligible for MRO.

BBPA – ‘government has made right decision delaying new Pubs Code introduction’:

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has said the government has made the “right decision” by delaying the introduction of the new Pubs Code. Business minister Anna Soubry said yesterday (Thursday, 5 May) the code, which would reform the relationship between tenants and big pubcos, would not come into force on 26 May as planned after problems in its drafting. In response, BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “The government has made the right decision in recognising that more work is needed on the draft regulations. We are committed to working with them to bring the new Code into force as soon as possible and believe that a period of reflection will give time for the adjudicator to issue guidance.” The code will allow pub tenants to have their rent reviewed regularly and give so-called “tied” tenants – who are bound to pay rent to and buy in all their beer and drinks from large pubcos rather than on the open market – the option to request a Market Rent Only option “in specific circumstances”. Soubry told MPs: “Since laying the Pubs Code regulations, we have identified a small number of technical drafting errors. It is important to get the Pubs Code right for both tenants and pub owning businesses. Therefore the government withdrew the regulations in order to deal with these errors. This means that the Pubs Code will not be in force by the 26 May as previously set out.” Soubry vowed that the department would address the drafting errors “quickly” and said amended regulations would be laid before Parliament “as soon as possible, minimising the delay bringing the code into force”. She added: “The regulations are subject to the affirmative procedure, and so parliament will have an opportunity to debate the content and give the regulations full scrutiny.”

Employment minister argues Brexit case to hospitality sector:


Employment minister argues Brexit case to hospitality sector:

Employment minister Priti Patel has argued the case to hospitality companies for leaving the European Union.

Speaking at the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) spring conference in London today (Thursday, 28 April), Patel argued the economic benefits of “standing tall as a free, independent and sovereign country”.

She said: “The UK has not managed to block a single proposal from becoming law through the EU Council, costing this country £2.4bn each year.

Not only does this undermine our democracy as we are unable to hold European decision-makers to account, it has devastating consequences for our economy. In 2005, the Treasury estimated the costs of the ‘single market’ could be over £125bn per year, the equivalent of 7% of GDP, £4,639 per household, or £23,236 per company.

Other research shows that while every single business is bound to the EU’s ever-increasing rulebook, the percentage of businesses exporting to the EU are 6% and 12.5% of the British economy exports to the EU. By getting rid of some of the EU rules that make it so difficult to create employment, we could deliver a £4.3bn boost to our economy and 60,000 new jobs. Cutting EU red tape on business – starting with small and medium-sized businesses business – will be a valuable boost to productivity, growth and job creation.

History also tells us that the prosperity of our businesses cannot be left in the hands of the EU. Last year, they turned their fire on small-scale cider producers demanding the removal of tax exemptions. Your business and interests could be next.

Voting to leave the EU will also give us back control over our borders and our immigration policy.

This does not mean we will close our borders – I know how important migrant labour is for your businesses and the hospitality, leisure and retail sector – but it means we can put in place robust controls that enable us to bring in the brightest and the best from around the world and recruit to fill shortages in the labour market.

Our choice on 23 June is a clear one. We can choose to remain in an unaccountable, unreformed EU that damages British business, takes our money, and puts our future prosperity at risk.

Or we can vote for a positive and secure future as a free, independent and sovereign country, where we can spend our own money on our own priorities, make our own laws, take an axe to EU red tape to free enterprise, and make the most of the potential and talent that our great country has to offer.”

Category: EU

A nasty Scam with Credit Card Machines, Barrel-Dregs


A nasty Scam with Credit Card Machines, Barrel-Dregs

One of our Members had been with a Credit Card Company for just over two years, at the time they claimed to have the best deal and certainly appeared so.

Barclays came in offering a better deal and he agreed to switch, his current company wanted £200 for breaking his contract.

The savings would be well in excess of the £200 exit fee and he went ahead.

An American based leasing company came on to him, saying that he was breaking his contract, they supply the Credit Card Machines on lease and want £300 or will take him to court.

He and his staff had never heard of them, it appears that the card company have some sort of leasing deal with this company, he is hunting through the copious agreement and so far has found nothing connecting with this company, even in the very small print.

He paid the £300, having no desire to be dragged through the courts for a relatively small sum.

I phoned the Card Company and asked about leasing credit card machines and using their services.

They told me that they had an eighteen month contract for machines and their services.

The big question, like the Energy Companies, if you don’t negotiate a new contract before your current one expires, do they automatically put you on a new contract with themselves and this dubious leasing company.  Read ON