Archive | January, 2014

Despatch Box

For the third year running, Labour are dragging the Government to the House of Commons to end the great pub scandal

Labour is forcing a Parliamentary debate on backing local pubs, pressing the Government to act as research shows 26 pubs are closing every week.

The debate will fall one year after Vince Cable, following Labour pressure and facing a Commons defeat, hurriedly announced his intention to introduce regulation to protect publicans from being exploited by the major pub owning companies owning more than 500 pubs.

But twelve months later the Government are still dithering and have failed to put in place a statutory code to back local pubs. This followed a debate in January 2012 when the House of Commons voted unanimously for a review of the self-regulation of pub companies and for a statutory code to be considered.

Despatch Box

Toby Perkins MP, Labour’s Shadow Pubs Minister said:

“Too many pubs across Britain are closing their doors and we urgently need action but ministers are dragging their feet. A wide range of bodies from the Federation of Small Businesses, CAMRA and trade unions to the BIS Select Committee and the All Party Save the Pub Group have recognised that the relationship between the big pub companies and local landlords is an unfair one which needs to be fixed and have backed plans for a proper statutory code with teeth.

“Pubs are vital hubs in communities up and down the country. By forcing a House of Commons debate we are demanding that the Tory-led Government act to support them rather than caving in to powerful vested interests.”

Labour wants to work with the government to get these much needed changes through and have set three tests for the new code:

1. The Beer Tie, whereby landlords can only buy products from their PubCo, works for some licences. However, for many others it means they can only buy limited products at inflated prices. We want every landlord to have the choice of whether to go free-of-tie. This would allow licencees to operate in a re-constructed market which would actually be more competitive.

2. When a new licencee takes over a pub, or when an existing rent contract expires and is renegotiated, there should be a fully transparent and independent rent review completed by a qualified surveyor.

3. There must be a truly independent body to monitor the regulations and adjudicate in disputes between licencees and pubcos.

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Welcome

I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

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