Monthly Archives: August 2016

The PCA has invited everyone to take part in the new consultation into enforcement powers

MROAS

The office of the PCA has invited everyone to take part in the new consultation into enforcement powers see here > https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pubs-code-disputes

Clearly we are wondering what the PCA has been doing these last few months that they are still not ready, this flies in the face of what ministers told us i.e. that the code will be ready from day one and you/tenants can rely upon it.

We shall do a draft response and where possible incorporate all your views, so if you would like us to add anything not just the issues on the consultation page then let us know very soon as it closes on the 30th Sept so we will have to get cracking.

For all those who have been in contact with the PCA office and complained about the (lack of) information supplied by their Pubco’s please note in order to make the complaint formal and get a decision you will need to follow the process here > https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pubs-code-disputes

We shall be hitting the road again in September to discuss the code and the consultation with members and tenants, we shall send details of the meetings in the next email.

If anyone is stuck with code or complaint issues and needs assistance get in touch.

Regards

Chris
PAS
02036513351

Latest Leisure Industry News from Propel Info

Propel

Government to water down alcohol warning: Adults will be told it is fine to drink in moderation in new guidelines on alcohol intake unveiled by the government – in a slapdown of Britain’s top doctor. The rules, to be announced soon, will set the recommended weekly limit for both men and women at 14 units, a reduction of seven for men, and explain every drink comes with a small health risk. However, in a move away from “nanny state” pronouncements, health secretary Jeremy Hunt will make clear the risks are no higher than other every day activities such as driving a car and people should feel free to enjoy a drink. Ministers are angry that when draft guidelines were published at the start of the year, chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies said every time she reaches for a glass of wine she thinks about the raised risks of breast cancer. Under the plans, women will also be told not to drink at all when they are pregnant or trying to conceive – clarifying previous advice. Papers seen by the drinks industry show ministers have accepted there is no totally safe limit but they “will give context about not preventing people enjoying a drink”. A government source told The Sunday Times: “We think the new guidelines are based on good science. But we had always wanted to present the idea of drinking alcohol at relatively sensible levels as about people’s tolerance of risk. Up to the limits we’re advising, the level of risk is probably something people would accept.” The tough guidelines will anger drinks companies who wanted the “no safe level” edict axed. They complain the government promotes their products abroad while calling them a health risk at home.

‘Staycation’ boom following Brexit expected to be worth extra £1.4bn: The boom in “staycations” following Brexit is expected to be worth an extra £1.4bn to the UK economy, new figures have revealed. While the surge in UK holidays after the 23 June vote had been predicted, the findings by the industry’s leading bodies show a huge rise both in visitors from abroad and in Britons opting for a “staycation”. The extra takings in 2016 for “staycations” alone are set to be £2.4bn, according to the Tourism Alliance, whose members include the British Hospitality Association, ABTA and regional tourist boards. While £1bn of that was spent before 23 June, the total additional “staycation” income for 2016 is expected to be £1.4bn. An extra £725m has been spent so far across Britain’s popular tourist destinations with more set to follow – thanks to the growth in foreign visitors. The falling pound since the Brexit vote has made holidays more expensive for Britons going abroad and cheaper for foreign tourists coming to the UK – giving Britain’s tourism a double boost. And the extraordinary growth in holidays in Britain means the industry is set for a record-breaking year, topping the high set in 2015 of nearly £1.3bn. Other factors adding to the boom are recent fine weather, low interest rates and fears of terrorism overseas. The Tourism Alliance estimated spending by Britons on UK holidays has been up by 17% on 2015 so far this year. Alliance director Kurt Janson told the Mail on Sunday the additional £2.4bn had the potential to create about 40,000 new jobs in tourism and hospitality. Resorts in the key “staycation” markets such as Brighton were really benefiting from the upward lift while businesses in Blackpool said the town was on course for one of its best seasons ever. Visit Cornwall said tourism across the county was up more than 4%.

CBRE – pubs moving to mainstream real estate, ‘business as usual’ for restaurant market: Agent CBRE has argued pubs are moving to mainstream real estate and are now being viewed as valid alternatives to offices and shops by investors. In its market overview for the second quarter of 2016, the company said UK monthly all property initial yield was up 5.05%, compared with 4.82% in the previous quarter. London corporate prime pub yield was down 4%, compared with 4.25% the quarter before. London independent and regional corporate prime pub yields remained at 5.25%, while regional independent pub yield stayed at 10%. Simon Johnson, corporate advisory, pubs and leisure at CBRE, said: “UK pubs are moving to mainstream real estate and there are three reasons for this – all real estate has got expansive and investors are looking around for yield; new buyers that have been in the sector before are arriving; and long income funds are targeting operational real estate like never before. It is clear property yields on core real estate assets have moved so significantly that many investors no longer see the value. If we look at good corporate regional pubs, we can see this has moved from a 40 basis points premium yield in 2007 (the peak of the last market) through to a 150 basis points discount in the dark days of 2011 and is now trading back at a 40 basis points premium again, but now at a 5.3% yield. And when we add in London prime corporate, we see that yields have never been lower. New investors are looking at the market with fresh eyes and most importantly seeing value and investing where traditional owners and buyers have previously only seen risk. In pubs we have started to see others looking closely at the sector.” Meanwhile, David Muslin, director of UK restaurants and leisure at CBRE, said the general message for the restaurant property market was “business as usual”. He added: “The top retail and leisure parks in the UK continue to be in demand. High streets still have their place and invariably new pitches find themselves evolving from previously off-pitch locations. Temple Street in Birmingham, for example, where San Carlo has been established for a number of years has, since the opening of Grand Central, become a much stronger link from the office core. The Botanist opened last year and it seems Fuller’s, Wahaca, Las Iguanas, Turtle Bay and Busaba are all bidding for space now topping out at over £40 per square foot. Premiums are less of a feature in the out-of-town market than in central London but they do happen more in the off-market deals where an existing operator has been ‘convinced’ to sell. So the market sentiment is still positive, the sun is now almost shining and, with summer in full swing, we are in a great place!”

CAMRA calls for alcohol guidelines consultation as public disagrees with advice: More than half of respondents to a new study disagreed with official health guidelines on alcohol consumption, according to figures released by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). Of 2,040 people surveyed by YouGov, 61% agreed moderate alcohol consumption could be part of a healthy lifestyle – and 51% disagreed with the chief medical officers’ decision that alcohol guidelines should be the same for men and women. Publishing the figures at the start of the Great British Beer Festival, a week-long celebration of Britain’s brewing industry, CAMRA is calling for the Department of Health to launch a new public consultation into whether the alcohol guidelines are fit for purpose and evidence-based. CAMRA chairman Colin Valentine said: “The figures we’re releasing today, at the start of the Great British Beer Festival, show that government advice on drinking is at odds with common sense. If the government wants people to take the guidance seriously then it needs to present people with realistic and believable advice, which they can use to judge their own risk when it comes to responsible drinking. If the public feels, as our figures suggest, that the guidelines are not credible and lack evidence, the danger is they will increasingly just ignore them. There have been decades of international scientific evidence showing moderate drinking can play an important part in a healthy and happy lifestyle. We’d like to see that research reflected in a more grown-up approach to help adults understand the risks and benefits associated with drinking.” Numerous scientific studies have shown moderate drinking can have a protective effect against various health problems, including cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and certain forms of cancer. However, this is ignored in the new alcohol guidelines. This year the Friends on Tap report from Oxford University also found those who frequented a pub were happier, healthier and felt more integrated in their communities than those who didn’t have a local. These latest figures chime with research released by CAMRA in May, which showed 60% of GPs also disagreed with the chief medical officers’ statement that there was no safe level of alcohol consumption, while two-thirds considered moderate alcohol consumption could be part of a healthy lifestyle.

Joule’s set for ‘brief hiatus’ in expansion for remainder of 2016, expects to start acquiring sites again next year: Shropshire brewer and retailer Joule’s, which is headed by Steve Nuttall, has said it expects a “brief hiatus” in expansion for the remainder of 2016 before looking to acquire sites again next year. Retail director Neale Chandler told Propel the company, which has 40 pubs, would concentrate on refurbishing some of its existing sites before “returning to the buying path” in 2017. He said: “Steve Nuttall is on record saying we could roll this out to 100 sites. The plan right now is that we’ll stop for a bit, and our in-house build team will go out to our existing estate, sparkle everything, and we’ll retrofit a couple of pubs. As the years have gone on, our design has evolved, so to stay relevant we need to continually invest in the older part of the estate. We are always looking for the right pubs, and I anticipate that next year we’ll be on the buying path again. In terms of new pubs, we’re always looking. The geographic footprint can expand. Our brand is becoming more and more well known, and so consequently the risk gets less. We are looking to infill, there are opportunities in Bridgnorth, we could probably get up to Uttoxeter, and we’ve now expanded down to Sutton Coldfield and Birmingham. We have target towns.” Chandler said the pipeline for new sites is still there, although “it’s not as good as it used to be”. He added: “When we started buying in 2008/09 the market was on its knees. The old adage that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure is true. I think when people go to other pubs is when they realise just how good our pubs are. I do think we lead our market in our heartland.” Last month, the investment focus shifted to the brewing side of the business with Joule’s doubling its footprint in Market Drayton with the acquisition of a 1.5-acre site adjacent to the existing brewery and its Red Lion pub. Nuttall said of the deal: “This new site doubles our footprint and will allow Joules many options for the long term. As we are in the heart of an ancient town, our options for extending are very limited, so this purchase future-proofs our continued presence in the town and our importance as a Shropshire brewer with access to the essential Market Drayton aquifer, our mineral water source.”

British Country Inns II looks to dispose of remaining four pubs, and the company: British Country Inns II, a subsidiary of British Country Inns, which currently has four pubs in Somerset, has said it is looking to dispose of the remaining sites, and is even aiming to find a buyer for the company. The company saw turnover fall to £1,796,544 for the year ending 31 January 2016, compared with £1,884,423 the previous year, according to accounts filed with Companies House. It reported a pre-tax loss of £156,384, compared with a loss of £382,476 the year before. The company managed to dispose of the loss-making Ponda Rosa on the Isle of Wight but for below book value. The company stated: “Trade during 2015 was disappointing, with both sales and house trading profit down on the previous year. Turnover across the pubs in the company fell by nearly 5% (but less on a like-for-like basis) and house trading profit declined from £252,000 to £172,000. We were finally able to dispose of the loss-making Ponda Rosa on the Isle of Wight during the year, albeit at below book value. This leaves four pubs remaining in the company ¬– The Lime Kiln; the Beambridge Inn; the Huntspill Arms; and the George, Donyatt. Our strategy continues to be to focus on maximising sales while controlling costs. There have been variations in performance across the houses, with the Lime Kiln being affected by poor summer weather and increasing local competition, the Beambridge failing to achieve its ambitious targets, and the Huntspill failing to perform adequately. Management changes have been made since the year end to address the problems and we believe 2016 should be a much better year for the company as a result. We are working very hard to try to dispose of all the remaining pubs at reasonable prices, or better still, to dispose of the company itself, as this would reduce the time and costs involved. An exit for shareholders is dependent on the pubs being sold, and the prices that might be obtained for them are dependent on the level of their trading and the overall market for country pubs. There is currently little or no demand for our type of pub, which makes the job very difficult. We are anxious to try and provide an exit as soon as possible, so shareholders can receive some value back, apply for loss relief and move on.”

Star Pubs & Bars launches two initiatives to help licensees address chef recruitment crisis: Star Pubs & Bars has launched two initiatives to further help licensees address the chef recruitment crisis. The initiatives – a chef recruitment tool kit as well as a significant discount on Ashburton Cookery School’s Chefs Academy – will help licensees recruit and grow their own kitchen staff. The chef recruitment toolkit will build Star licensees’ confidence and skills in the specialist area of catering staff recruitment. The toolkit contains “how to” guides on interviewing and recruiting candidates as well as a series of professionally written job descriptions, interview questions and job advert templates. Licensees have access to 30 documents covering the complete range of kitchen jobs, from kitchen porter and commis chef to food handler and chef de partie, which they can download and adapt. Star has also negotiated a significant discount with the Ashburton Cookery School, one of the country’s most respected private cookery schools, for its four-week Chefs Academy course. The course offers more than 30 hours of practical cookery a week, teaching the core skills required to cook to a professional standard. Graduates attain a Level 2 Award in Culinary Skills QCF qualification, accredited by the Confederation of Tourism & Hospitality. Star Pubs & Bars managing director Lawson Mountstevens said: “The problem of chef recruitment comes up time and again when we’re talking to licensees. Our toolkit will help licensees promote the benefits and career opportunities offered in pub catering. The materials and support will also give licensees’ recruitment drives the sort of professionalism looked for by candidates who are serious about a career in catering.” The two initiatives are part of a raft of support Star has put in place to help licensees grow their food offering. These include new menu designs, in-pub chef mentoring, and a five-day residential cookery course.

Open brewery UBrew to launch project that sees ten micro-breweries open under one roof in London: Ubrew, the “open brewery” founded by Matt Denham and Wilf Horsfall, has unveiled a project that will see ten new micro-breweries open under one roof in London later this month. The collaborative idea will see micro-brewers launch beer into the commercial market from one location in Bermondsey. The company recently installed a new 800-litre brewing kit that allows hobby brewers to start selling their product. Denham told the Evening Standard: “We’re helping people scale up. We’re helping people develop their recipes. But also we want to help develop their product, their brand and actually getting to the market.” Hugo Moreno, of Vandells Brewery, has been able to launch his product thanks to the new equipment. He said: “Before this we looked into getting our own space and investments and loans but financially this makes more sense to us. It’s going to mean a lot of opportunities and we can brew on a bigger scale. It gives us more freedom for brewing what we want to give out to the public.”

SIBA launches initiative allowing independent brewers to take back craft beer: The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has launched an initiative – called “Assured” – to promote independent British craft breweries in an effort to provide greater clarity for consumers looking to purchase beer from genuinely independent craft breweries in the UK. To qualify for the stamp of approval, breweries must be truly independent of any larger controlling brewing interest and pledge to abide by SIBA’s Manual of Good Brewing Practice. Breweries signed up to the initiative will be able to use the stamp on their pump clips, bottles, cans, point of sale and websites. More than 150 SIBA members have already pledged their support for the scheme. To give consumers a quick and easy way to identify the independent craft brewers near them, SIBA has launched indiecraftbrewers.co.uk, which includes a UK-wide interactive map. The organisation’s bar at the Great British Beer Festival in Olympia, London, will also, from 5pm today (Tuesday, 9 August), be displaying details of the new initiative alongside serving its Champion cask beers. With more than 850 brewing members in the UK, SIBA said beer drinkers needed more information to help them make informed choices. Market research commissioned by SIBA showed 46% of beer drinkers regarded craft beer as “made by small brewers rather than large corporations”, although one in ten beer drinkers were unsure what the term meant. 35% regarded craft breweries as “artisanal”, with 22% associating the term with “small” and 14% with “local”. SIBA claimed its entire full brewing membership fell into those definitions. SIBA managing director Mike Benner said: “We’re not being sanctimonious about this or taking ourselves too seriously and we realise that great beer can be brewed by all kinds of brewers but, as more and more brewers jump on the ‘craft’ bandwagon, we think firstly that people want to know where their beer is being brewed and by whom, and secondly that we need to help even our relatively small members compete with the huge marketing budgets of big ‘craft’ brands. This is why we have launched this stamp of approval, which assures independence and quality. The future credibility and growth of the craft beer market would be seriously threatened if consumers simply associated it with a handful of brands from global brewers and not from their very own local brewery. Consumer access to beers from truly independent craft brewers is key to the future of British beer.”

More than 100 million pints of independent craft-brewed beer now sold through SIBA scheme: More than 100 million pints of beer have been sold through a scheme designed to get craft-brewed beer from some of the smallest brewers into the UK’s largest pub companies. Now in its 14th year, BeerFlex was set up by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) to get its members’ beers into pub chains and has proved a huge success, with about 101 million pints now having been sold. In 2002, when the service was launched, there were only 200 beers available through the service, a number that has now increased to more than 3,500 thanks to the craft-brewing boom the UK has seen in recent years. SIBA operations director Nick Stafford said: “BeerFlex has been a hit with pub companies as it allows them a simple, cost-effective way to gain access to a huge range of beers brewed within a short distance of their pubs, which means they can offer their customers genuinely local, fresh-tasting draught beers. On top of that, consumers are happy as they are being given greater choice and brewers are happy as their beers are getting into pubs which were previously a closed door to small-scale producers.” While there are more than 3,500 beers from across the UK available through BeerFlex, the majority of pubs, bars and restaurants buy beer from breweries in their local area – in fact SIBA figures show about 70% of its brewing members sell the majority of their beer within a 40-mile radius of the brewery. 37 different pub companies have worked with SIBA over the years to sell beer from independent breweries in their pubs, including Punch, Enterprise Inns, Admiral Taverns, Thwaites, and NewRiver Retail. Originally set up as the “Direct Delivery Scheme”, which won the BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Award for “best retail initiative” in 2007, BeerFlex has had much more than a name change since its launch, recently adapting to offer independent beer solutions to the restaurant, coffee shop and cafe trade following extensive SIBA research that highlighted consumer demand for craft-brewed beers in these venues. Stafford said: “SIBA is hugely proud to have reached this 100 million pint milestone and hopes the scheme will continue to connect beer drinkers with full-flavoured, independently brewed craft beer, no matter what pub they’re visiting.” SIBA will serve its Champion cask beers and is available to discuss BeerFlex at the SIBA Bar at the Great British Beer Festival, Olympia, London, today (Tuesday, 9 August).

Bison Beer signs agreement to reopen derelict Brighton pub following crowdfunding campaign: Brighton-based beer shop Bison Beer has signed a deal to reopen a derelict pub in the city having previously raised more than £100,000 in crowdfunding for the venture. Bison Beer launched the fund-raise on Seedrs to transform the former Mariner pub into a craft beer pub The Bison Arms after Burger King earmarked the site for one of its restaurants. Having raised the money, the deal has been delayed by protracted negotiations, in part caused by the post-referendum economy. However, an agreement has now been reached, reports The Argus. A statement from Bison Beer co-owners Jack Cregan and Nick Vardy, and Bottom’s Rest pub owner Simon Duddington, said: “We are absolutely delighted to announce that a formal agreement has been reached after much discussion and negotiation. Heads of terms have been signed that reflect a deal we have worked very hard to formulate these past few weeks.” The team will now have to finalise the shares with crowdfunding partner Seedrs, instruct solicitors to finalise the lease, create a schedule of works and preparation with the council and residents, and shape the design development. Food partner 64 Degrees will lead the design of the restaurant section.

Wild Beer Co opens second site, in Bristol: Somerset-based brewer Wild Beer Co has opened its second site, this time in Bristol. The company, which launched its first bar and restaurant in Cheltenham last year, has opened the venue at the Wapping Wharf development, at the Harbourside. The site features a mixture of modern, colourful furnishings. Its food menu includes ingredients sourced from around Somerset, with dishes including burgers, steaks, seafood and salads. Wild Beer Co co-founder Andrew Cooper told the Bristol Post: “We have 22 different draft beers, half coming from Wild Beer, while the others have been specially selected by our team. We’ll also have about 15 different gins with a huge selection of tonics and garnishes.” The company was founded in 2013 and currently distributes its beers and ales across the UK.

Manchester-based craft beer brewer Seven Brothers closes crowdfunding campaign after raising £200,000: Manchester-based craft beer brewer Seven Bro7thers has closed its campaign on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to increase capacity and fit-out its first bar after raising £200,000. The company, founded by the seven McAvoy brothers, was looking to raise £150,000 and offered a 16.84% equity stake in return for the investment. It has now closed the campaign with 275 investors pledging £200,000. The largest investment was £25,000. The company also secured the site for its first bar last week and plans to open two more by the end of 2018. Seven Bro7thers distributes its beers to pubs and restaurants across the UK and is in advanced discussions to stock its brands in Tesco stores. The pitch stated: “Since we launched in 2014 we have grown steadily and need to update the brewery to keep up with the demand for our beer and also to fuel our ambition. We are seeking £150,000 to increase capacity with the procurement of five additional fermenting vessels to keep up with demand, procure canning and bottling lines, and fit-out our first craft beer bar in Manchester.”

Butcombe Brewery acquires 23rd site, in Cheltenham: Brewer and operator Butcombe Brewery, owned by Liberation Group, has acquired its 23rd site, in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. The freehold purchase of The Old Restoration – Cheltenham’s oldest pub – is the first deal for Liberation Group, since it was acquired by Caledonia Investments for £118m last month. The 15th century The Old Restoration, which is in High Street on the eastern side of the junction of Grosvenor Street, will sit within Butcombe’s managed pub estate. It is thought the landlord in circa 1660 changed the name of the pub in honour of the Restoration of King Charles II to the throne of England. The purchase follows the brewer’s acquisition of The Pelican Inn, Chew Magna and The Charlton Inn, Shepton Mallet, in June which kick-started a strategic growth plan that could see up to 20 pubs a year joining the Butcombe estate over the next five years. The Old Restoration marks Butcombe’s second outlet in Cheltenham after The Frog and Fiddle, which it acquired in 2011. Butcombe pub operations manager Charlotte Close said: “The Old Restoration is a fantastic addition to our portfolio in a great town. We will be fully refurbishing the site in the coming months and plan to introduce a premium casual dining concept driven by our great range of beers and craft ales. The building itself has a wonderful character which reflects the Butcombe brand perfectly, we can’t wait to see the outputs of another successful transformation following our investment.” Liberation Group chief executive Mark Crowther added: “It’s no secret we’re looking to grow the Butcombe business both organically and through acquisition. Following the positive news of our refinancing, it’s fantastic to welcome another great site into our business as part of our ambition to become the leading brewer and pub operator in the West Country.” Butcombe has seen year-on-year growth in sales of 32% and is in the top 20 performers in the nationwide draught cask ale market.

PAS, formally lodging your MRO Notice

Pub Advisory Service and the MRO.

This information is for your guidance and we would advise you to contact Chris at PAS.

In order to clarify how to formally lodge your MRO notice it must be served on your Pub Owning Business (POB) in accordance with regulation 23 of the Pubs Code link here >http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2016/9780111147481/regulation/23

Your request must contain the following:
(a) Your name, postal address, email address (if any) and telephone number;
(b) the date on which the notice is being sent;
(c) the name of the tied pub in relation to the which the request for an offer of a market rent only option is being made and its address;
(d) the date on which the MRO event occurred; and
(e) a description of that event which in your opinion, demonstrates that it is a MRO event as specified in regulations 24 to 27 of the Pubs Code

Note any request must be received by the POB by no later than the period of 21 days beginning with the day on which the MRO ‘trigger’ event occurred.

Given there is currently a major problem over the POB’s not supplying all the paperwork required under the code schedules (see schedules 1&2) we still don’t have any firm reply from the PCA as to what members are expected to do when faced with being sent partial or incomplete offers, does it effect the timetable for responding etc etc. For now if you have been sent an incomplete offer by your POB we suggest you simply ask for MRO using the above template cite that the assessment they have sent is not compliant with the code as it is incomplete/missing information and send a complaint to the PCA office stating the the POB has failed to give you the information as directed under the code and you want them to investigate the breach / lack of information.

If you need us to help draft the template then drop us a line, please note it does take quite sometime to help on a case by case basis as there are subtle differences so please understand that we will need to charge for help with drafting.

Regards
Chris
PAS

support@pubs.expert

02036513351

JG & Partners, August Licensing News

 

 

Taxi and private hire vehicle licensing – England & Wales – Briefing document

Posted: 11 Aug 2016 09:00 AM PDT

A Parliamentary Briefing paper, released yesterday, sets out the licensing arrangements for taxis and private hire vehicles and their drivers and the enforcement of those licences. It also looks at some of the issues currently of concern to the industry and licensing authorities. As taxi licensing is devolved in Scotland and Northern Ireland the paper only deals with England and Wales. Once th…

Costs recovery – ‘Hemmings’ may find relief in EuropePosted: 12 Aug 2016 09:00 AM PDT

We have reported on the legal case of R (on the application of Hemming (t/a Simply Pleasure Ltd) and others) v Westminster City Council for several years.  A decision in the Supreme Court published on 29th April 2015 was decided against Mr. Hemmings and in favour of Westminster City Council.  The case concerned the fees charged by Westminster City Council to operators of sex shop est…

Scotland – West Lothian Licensing Board festive policy 2016/17Posted: 05 Aug 2016 05:00 AM PDT

Following our previous article about West Lothian Licensing Board consulting on its 2016/17 Festive Policy, the Board has approved premises to have the benefit of later hours without need for formal application in certain circumstances. Premises will have the benefit on one extra hour trading subject to the following: Nightclub premises  - on licensed sales extended to a maximum of 04….

BII Launch New Website and MarketplacePosted: 04 Aug 2016 09:00 AM PDT

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) have launched their new website that includes an innovative market place for its members alongside a knowledge bank and customer relationship management system. We are pleased to support this and also that we have passed the BII’s vetting process to be listed on the market place, which only lists companies that are respected experts in their field and …

House of Lords – Select Committee on the Licensing Act 2003 – Day One

Posted: 29 Jul 2016 05:00 AM PDT

On the 5th July the House of Lords’ Select Committee on the Licensing Act 2003 convened their first evidence session.  At this first session, evidence was taken from: Anna Paige – Head of the Drugs and Alcohol Unit in the Home Office, Andy Johnson – Head of Alcohol, Home Office, Kate McGavin – Deputy Director of Media and Creativity, Department for Culture, Media an…

Can a Judicial Review help, if time is short?

Posted: 29 Jul 2016 03:00 AM PDT

An interesting, if not unexpected, decision has recently been handed down by Mr. Justic Ouseley in respect of the matter of R (Woodward) –v- Thurrock BC. In summary, Woodward (the Applicant) had applied to Thurrock for a premises licence for a proposed music festival scheduled to take place in August. There were several objections and following a hearing by the Licensing Committee the a…
Gambling – Revised Licence conditions and codes of Practice – PublishedPosted: 03 Aug 2016 10:00 AM PDT

The Gambling Commission have recently published a revised Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP)  which shall take effect on 31st October 2016. The revision follow earlier consultations carried out by the Commission. In 2015 the Gambling Commission carried out a consultation upon proposed amendments to the LCCP  for all operators (both remote and non-remote) in relatio…

HoL Licensing Committee – update 

This Committee looking into the workings of the Licensing Act 2003 has now started taking formal evidence.

Food Safety – FSA consults on ‘rare burgers’ – differently but again 

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is now consulting on the proposal to introduce specific approval in FSA approved establishments for the production of minced meat / meat preparations intended to be eaten less than thoroughly cooked.

Restaurants and catering establishments who intend to serve burgers less than thoroughly cooked need to ensure that all reasonable steps have been taken to protect consumers.

‘Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice: Catering 2016’ – BHA 

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has published their Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice: Catering 2016, which is has been prepared in consultation with the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland. This is the first update to the guidelines in 20 years and will help businesses who serve food to do so safely.

Planning – Impact of possible noise nuisance claims on viability of a business – further update 

We have been monitoring the progress of the legal case currently being pursued by Pauline Foster, the owner of an East London Tavern (the George Tavern) against the decision to grant Planning permission for a residential development in a neighbouring building. Although the original decision by Tower Hamlets was to refuse planning permission the decision was reversed on appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. The matter has now been considered by the Court of Appeal (and found in her favour).

Can a Judicial Review help, if time is short?

We have reported on a Judicial Review application instigated against Thurrock BC this month.  The High Court rejected an attempt by the proposed operator of music festival to bypass the Magistrates Court Appeal process when the Court’s listing would have been too late for the proposed festival. The Court, in dismissing the request, laid the blame for situation firmly at the door of the Applicant.

Rural tourism in England inquiry launched 

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Commons Select Committee has launched an inquiry into the role of tourism in supporting rural growth in England. Rural Tourism provides around £17 billion a year to the English economy. But rural communities face some particular challenges to tourism growth such as transport connections, restrictions to broadband access and seasonal employment.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Parliamentary Committee launches an inquiry into the economic etc. impact of food waste in England. 

This Committee has also announced that it will examine the economic, environmental and social impacts of food waste with a focus on consumers, the retail and hospitality sectors, and local government.

Gambling – Code of practice for gaming machines in clubs and premises with an alcohol licence 

A (possibly timely) reminder for licensed premises which have provision of facilities for gaming machine gambling in accordance with club gaming, club machine and alcohol licensed premises permits.

There is Gambling Commission Guidance in place with which premises should comply which deals with the siting (and possible co-location with ATMs) of such machines, responsibility for compliance with such guidance and best practice to prevent under aged usage.

Gambling – Commission Annual Report published 

The Gambling Commission’s annual report and accounts for 2015/16 has been released. It is available here: ‘Gambling Commission – Annual Report & Financial Statements 2015/16

Gambling – Responses to gaming machine consultations published   

We have previously reported upon the Gambling Commission’s consultation concerning where gaming machines should be played. The consultation window closed on 22 February 2016 and the Commission have now published a summary of the responses received.

Gambling – Proposals for changes to Commission Fees 

The Gambling Commission and Department of Culture Media and Sport have published a joint consultation on proposed changes to Gambling Fees.

Gambling – Commission release gambling statistics 

The Gambling Commission has recently published figures in relation to the British Gambling Industry. These provide an update on the last figures published in November 2015.

Upcoming Sheffield based APLH CoursesPosted: 22 Jul 2016 08:00 AM PDT

Dont forget that we hold regular APLH courses in our Sheffield based training suite. August is now fully booked but we still have places on the following courses: Thursday 1st September Wednesday 21st September Tuesday 11th October Wednesday 2nd November Thursday 24th November Wednesday 14th December You can book or find out more details about the APLH and our eLearning here: www.jo

ALMR, News, Pubs Code adjudicator consultation a chance to boost clarity

Use Co logo ALMR

ALMR – Pubs Code adjudicator consultation a chance to boost clarity:

The Association of Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has said the Pubs Code adjudicator’s consultation on investigation and enforcement guidelines is a chance to boost clarity. ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The adjudicator’s new consultation will help give us a greater sense of clarity and should ensure all parties are aware of, and can feed into, the criteria regarding investigations and enforcements. The consultation is specifically looking at the process of investigating and taking action where there has been a breach of the code, so this will not affect any ongoing or impending negotiations. We are pleased to see the consultation is fairly brief, which should minimise disruptions as pubcos and licensees adapt to the new regime. The important thing is to minimise disruption to ensure investment and growth is not undermined.” 

ALMR Press Notice – immediate 18.08.2016

Licensed hospitality a valuable next step for young people

 

Coinciding with the release of today’s A Level results, the ALMR praised the ability of the licensed hospitality sector to provide meaningful experience and opportunities for young people.

 

ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “Congratulations to all those people collecting their A Level results today. These will be exciting times as you consider your next steps in education or work. The licensed hospitality sector provides young employers with a wealth of opportunities to learn, earn money and build the beginnings of a fantastic career.

 

“There is a misconception that pubs and bars offer only short term solutions but many of the sector’s leading entrepreneurs started their journey behind a bar or in a kitchen. Licensed hospitality is a sector that works best when its team members are given the opportunity to excel and innovate. Anyone who starts work behind a bar in their local pub can find themselves running their own venue or managing their own team within a few years.

 

“We should not forget that this sector incorporates many skills and disciplines from marketing to law, from finance to PR. If you have a passion, there is a good chance you can follow it within licensed hospitality. There is an enormous depth and variety to the roles on offer in this sector, proof that work with us does not end at the bar.”

 

ALMR urges Apprenticeship Levy rethink

 

The ALMR has called on the Government to delay the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, warning that it will place severe burdens on employers in the licensed hospitality sector at a time of economic uncertainty post-Brexit and may harm investment as a result.

 

The Chancellor first announced the levy last year but the Government has only now published details of how it will work. The Apprenticeship Levy which will see all UK employers with a wage bill in excess of £3million – which includes many small and medium sized businesses liable to pay an additional payroll tax to fund apprenticeships from April 2017

 

ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “Introducing additional regulatory costs for businesses is going to put them under additional strain, particularly in a labour-intensive sector such as ours. Licensed hospitality has already doubled the number of apprenticeship starts and is investing on average over £1,000 per employee per year in in-work training – this could well be jeopardised by a blunt additional tax on employment.  The timing of the levy, coming shortly after the EU referendum and while business and consumer confidence still needs a boost, could scarcely be worse. This is a time of economic uncertainty for UK businesses, not a time to be introducing significant additional costs at such short notice.

 

“The ALMR has liaised with the Government to voice its concerns and business leaders in hospitality and retail have been united in telling Ministers as part of the Brexit dialogue to delay the levy. We urge them to rethink the introduction of a measure that will place added strain on employers at such an uncertain time.”

 

[COMMENT PRIOR TO ANNOUNCEMENT OF GOVERNMENT’S CHILD OBESITY/SUGAR LEVY]

 

Sugar tax is a backwards step

 

The ALMR has warned that a tax on sugary drinks will increase burdens for businesses without addressing the Government’s health concerns.

 

ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The Government’s tax on sugary drinks is intended to tackle public obesity but there is a danger it will do little more than increase costs for both retailers and customers. Licensed hospitality is keen to aid the Government’s in its campaign to address public health concerns, but we do not feel that a sugar tax is an effective tool.

 

“For the majority of customers, eating-out is an occasional treat and pubs and restaurants have worked hard to reformulate menus, reduce calories and provide customers with greater choice and nutritional information.

 

“These are part of ongoing efforts by the sector to help address health concerns and promote responsible consumption. If the Government is looking to tackle obesity then promotion of these schemes, rather than additional costs, would be helpful. An additional cost burden for businesses is unlikely to help promote healthy attitudes.”

Pub Co’s offering 5 year Leases? Some Guidance in this questionable move.

Morgan Clarke Logos copy

MORGAN & CLARKE AUGUST 2016 NEWSLETTER NO. 54

Pigeon House, The Broadway,

Oakridge Lynch, Stroud, Glos. GL6 7NU

Email: info@morganandclarke.co.uk Phone: 01285 719292 and 01285 760370

www.morganandclarke.co.uk

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

Pub Co’s offering 5 year Leases? Some Guidance in this questionable move.

It has certainly been a hectic couple of weeks since 21st July when the Pubs Code finally reached the Statute Book. The final document is a mixture of both certainty and confusion, specifically concerning the cross-relating of clauses embedded within the content. So often there is a specific requirement, but this then requires cross-referencing either forwards or backwards to other elements of the content of the new law. At times this is highly confusing and the various skilled practitioners directly concerned with the implementing of the new legislation, are feeling their way gently through its complexitie

The offices of Morgan & Clarke are currently working flat out to process quite a remarkable number of as yet unsettled rent reviews which fall squarely under Part 16 of the new legislation. It is highly recommended that the Statutory Pubs Code is downloaded in full from the Government website. Not that it exactly makes bedtime reading, but it certainly would be very useful to have at hand when references are made directly to paragraph numbers and the various parts of the document itself.

  1. Previous Rent Reviews

Part 16 deals squarely with the issuance of undecided rent reviews in what is known as the ‘transition period’. This can work both ways in the interpretation of the stipulation of “rent reviews not decided within the last five years”.

Example 1

Pubco lease with a rent review on 7th December 2014. The matter was not concluded by negotiation and subsequently referred to the PIRRS’ procedure. That went through the course of standard referral with the required summing up session being held on 9th June 2016. The PIRRS’ expert was a tad slow in issuing his rent determination which resulted in there being no decision by the 21st July. On the 22nd July we served an application for a rent assessment in order that our Client could consider matters before deciding whether they wished to initiate a Market Rent Only – Option on a free-of-tie basis. The PIRRS’ expert’s decision determining the rent was received on 26th July. The Pubco immediately slapped down the application, but is now in a period of reflection and ‘taking legal advice’.

Example 2

Pubco standard rent review with the previous rent being applied from 26th June 2011. However, that rent was decided at arbitration with the arbitrator’s award being issued on 10th December 2012, which is unfortunately less than five years from the current rent review date of 26th June 2016. Part 16 of the regulations and the five year rule, now makes the 2016 rent review not capable of attracting MRO option.

  1. Lease Renewals

As mentioned in previous Newsletters passim, lease renewals are governed by either the issuance by the Landlord of a Section 25 Notice under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 or – if that Notice has not been issued – then by the Tenant issuance of a Section 26 Notice under the same legislation.

If a Section 25 Notice has been issued prior to the 21st July 2016, there is no protection from Part 16 of the new Code as it applies only to rent reviews and not lease renewals. If, however, you receive a Section 25 Notice confirming that your Landlord is content to grant a new lease and that Notice is dated after 21st July 2016, then MRO option is available for consideration. This is known as an ‘event’ which must trigger an MRO application WITHIN 21 days of the date on the notice.

The whole purpose of Section 16 was concerning rent reviews and in the transitionary period that there should be the opportunity of a catch-up session on previously unresolved rent reviews. One or two of the companies caught within this legislation, have not quite cottoned on to this feature and are still stating that MRO option does not apply to anything prior to the 21st July 2016. The detailed content of the new legislation – specifically Part 16 – would indicate otherwise.

  1. Hostile 25 Notices

This is where your Landlord has issued a Section 25 Notice under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954, but confirming that at the termination of the tenancy/lease, they will be requiring the property back for their own occupation and use. This is what is known as a Section (g) Opposition. There have, however, been a quite alarming number of situations which run as follows. Once again, ‘no names, no pack drill’ as M’Learned Friends are burning the midnight oil considering the issues raised.

 

In the first instance, a standard hostile 25 Notice is served, clearly stating that the Landlord under Section (g) requires the premises for their own occupation and use. Usually a number of other somewhat left of centre field issues are raised, such as – you don’t pay your rent on time; the property is in a state of disrepair; and sometimes unfounded allegations of buying out of tie. These other issues are relatively straight forward to defend on the basis that they would certainly not be constantly recurrent during the course of a new lease term.

However, returning to the hostile 25 Notice, out of thin air comes the offer “but we don’t really want to do that. How do you fancy a new five year, supply-tied lease?”. Also, the same thing has applied to requests by tenants for a new lease on a supply-tied basis, which has met with return Section 26 Opposition, once again on a “we want to occupy for our own occupation and use”.

We are currently right in the middle of one such example where the open correspondence from the Landlord’s solicitor, specifically rejects the tenant’s Section 26 Notice on the grounds of own occupation and use, yet in separate ‘without prejudice’ correspondence, the door has been opened to a new, five year, supply-tied lease.

We can cite example after example of what is known as ‘gaming the legislation’ in what at times looks like almost a desperate attempt to stave off lease renewals on a supply-free basis.

  1. Reality of Occupation and Use

Again, without naming names and as outlined above, there have been a huge number of hostile Section 25 Notices citing “for our own occupation and use”. By way of background, such occupation is considered as a managed house. To gain some idea as what logically construes managed house occupation, we can but quote from part of an article that appeared in the Publican’s Morning Advertiser on the 14th January 2015 from the Editor, Rob Willock. The remarks were quoting Enterprise Inns’ Group Commercial Director, Paul Harbottle, with the following being particularly relevant:

“With a typical capital investment of £150,000 up to £200,000 per site, Harbottle revealed ‘an £8,000 a week turnover is our break-even point for an Enterprise managed pub, given annual Headquarter overheads of £30,000 per pub, but our sweet spot is north of £12,000 per week’. Notwithstanding that aspiration, Paul Harbottle then went on to say ‘Our sites are reaching maturity in six months. Those that have been open that long are all in profit, but I’d be lying if I said that all of our sites have been an immediate success’”.

It has to be considered that Enterprise Inns – with all of their considerable expertise – represent a reasonable yardstick of what should or should not be construed as being a managed house. You can wonder at our surprise with a number of our examples that we are seeing within Pubco estates where a hostile Section 25 Notice has been issued on quite small establishments, generally incapable of further physical expansion with total ex VAT sales of less than £150,000 p.a. ….. yes, you have guessed it – after the Hostile Section 25 Notice came winging in on a ‘without prejudice’ basis, an offer for a five year lease on a supply-tie “to ensure that you keep a roof over your heads”. Draw your own conclusions.

 

  1. Five Year Leases

We always look at the world pragmatically and it is quite understandable – using our old phrase ‘might versus plight’ – that a number of tenants with leases less than 14 years (it’s a Landlord & Tenant Act compensation thing), knuckle under with grudging bad grace and have to take a new five year, supply-tied lease. Whilst this option almost looks inevitable, there are a number of issues that must be considered:

  • You have to pay stamp duty;
  • At the termination of your current lease, you will be served with a terminal Schedule of Dilapidations which is all quite legal, but inevitable, but from past experience is hugely detailed, over-costed and in part asks for full replacement rather than repair. Examples include, complete car park surfaces and historic roofs.

That is all very well, but should the taking of a five year lease only, carry the same future repairing responsibility?

  • It is highly likely that a lease for ten years or more, or even previous five year agreements, will still contain a repairing obligation to ‘put and keep’ in good and substantial repair for the whole of the property.
  • You will still be required to be responsible for, and maintain, an authorised guarantee agreement.
  • Opting for a new five year lease, you would lose the right for compensation which would have applied in a previous lease for, say, ten years, as the compensation based upon 1 times rateable value, applies only to occupations over seven years.
  • There is no chance of ever having a free-of-tie lease.
  • Some of the new five year leases are contracted out of the protection of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 for renewing purposes. That means that there will be no guarantee of having a further five year lease as you have no right to even apply for that extra lease term.
  • It would seem that the general market opinion of five year leases is that they have little or no premium value with the only value being associated with that of the in-situ asset of the trade fixtures, fittings and effects, plus, of course, the value of stock and consumables on departure.
  • There has been a threat – and at this stage no more than a threat – that you may be required to produce a new Business Plan in support of the new lease which must be signed off by an Accountant.

However, the whole issue could so easily be covered by a Deed of Variation which would guarantee the status in years of the existing lease. That would not satisfy the ‘cost scare’ tactics of a new (only) five year lease.

  1. The Unknown

When and if free-of-tie relationships are created in the conversion of a current supply-tied lease, the opportunity arises for the creation of a new lease document on a commercial basis. There have been a large number of genuinely Draconian threats in this respect, which may or may not see their way to the printed page. The threats concerned – in certain instances – (again, no names), come from “friendly conversations” at Retail Field Staff level. We had several phone calls from distressed Clients asking “can they really do this and can they threaten me like that?”/ It may well be that in a few instances, the definite desire to retain the supply-tie, linked with a “you’ll be very sorry” regime, could easily be counter-productive, but only on the basis that the tenant concerns gets genuinely independent, level-headed, professional assistance in the decision-making.

  1. Result

On a lighter note, we have had a gratifyingly large number of successful PIRRS’ referrals confirmed this month, one of which was as follows: current rent £30,236; previous rent review notice served at £36,000; the expert for the Pubco tabled a rent of £37,500; Morgan & Clarke for the tenant suggested that the rent should be £22,300; the PIRRS’ expert found at £24,200 with the rent review being 7th December 2014; result – a substantial refund for overpaid rent.

Second example, but not a PIRRS’ referral with this case being a south coast resort town. Client quotation as follows:

“We have just spoken but I wanted to repeat our thanks for all of your advice in respect of this review which I know has been frustrating at times! We are delighted with the result and I have made sure that my colleagues are aware of your services for when their licensed/leisure premises come up for review”.

 

  1. “Pigs Might Fly”

We may be old fashioned but we have always believed in good, sound, estate management. That is the simple premise of ensuring good relationships between Landlord and Tenant. Not being seen to gain an edge over some of the less informed (and some could say ‘vulnerable’) lessees. This would logically lead to informing lessees that when a new rent assessment form is issued, they have only 21 days (which is no time at all) in which to activate MRO – otherwise the opportunity would seem to have been kicked into the long grass for another three or five years.

Oh well, we can but dream!

  1. And Finally

As we have been dealing with the politics of new legislation, a few quotes from the heart of politics:

  • “90% of politicians give the other 10% a bad reputation” Henry Kissinger
  • “ – shred that document! No-one must ever be able to find it again! – in that case Minister, I think it’s best that I file it” Jim Hacker and Bernard Woolley in ‘Yes Minister’.
  • “politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realise that it bears a very close resemblance to the first”. Ronald Reagan.

Best Wishes from the Team at M & C

Email: info@morganandclarke.co.uk

Phone: 01285 719292 and 01285 760370

Pub Advisory Service, MROAS, August Newsletter

MROAS

Pub Advisory Service, MROAS, August Newsletter

Two things in this August newsletter, first one is anyone who has not had a rent review in the last 5 years or is doing one that isn’t yet concluded, should note you can stop the process of the non-code compliant rent review and switch over to a code compliant rent review by simply making a written request to your pubco – the new rent review will then have all the protections and advantages of the code.
If you need help making the request get in touch Second thing is we are yet to see any rent offer made under the code that is compliant with the code, and we are considering making a “super complaint” to the Pubs Code Adjudicator office to get to the bottom of this.
So if you had got an offer of rent that has been made under the pubs code and you cannot tick off all the information requirements found under Schedule 2 of the code then let us know by return, you can read the list of requirements here > http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2016/9780111147481/schedule/2
One other trade related issue you might want to respond to is a consultation on licensing > http://www.parliament.uk/licensing-act-committee-written-submission-form If you are wanting to have your say on licensing do so now (by the 2nd September) – note if you want us at PAS to represent your views then let us know what your submission is about by sending us a copy to the office.
As ever thanks for your continued support. Regards Chris PAS