A debate will be taking place in the House of Commons next week to hold the Government to account for failing to help struggling pubs across Britain.
I am backing calls for a statutory code to guide and regulate the relationship between large pub companies (pubcos) - the branded chains of pubs which account for the majority of pubs in the UK - and their tenants and licensees and for tenants to be allowed to choose between a tied and non-tied option, to ensure fair and open business opportunities for tenants and small brewers alike.
This call is supported by a broad coalition including the BIS Select Committee and groups in the pub trade, including CAMRA, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Independent Pub Confederation, Fair Pint and the Guild of Master Victuallers.
The vote will fall on the year’s anniversary of the House of Commons voting unanimously for a review of the self-regulation of pubcos and for a statutory code to be considered. However ministers have ignored the vote, taken no action on the issue and have refused to listen to the broad coalition of groups calling for a review of self-regulation.
Pubs are vital hubs for communities and are valued strongly by local people, but due to the Government’s inaction and broken promises on backing small landlords they are closing at an ever-increasing rate.
I will be voting in Parliament for the motion which demands the Government take action and put in place a statutory code by the end of 2013 at the very latest.