A demonstration is due to be held in Parliament Square, London, on Monday as part of a new campaign asking the government to review the Pubs Code legislation.
Seasoned campaigners from the pub industry have teamed up with the Forum of Private Business to highlight failures of the Pubs Code, and will demonstrate in front of Parliament on Monday (May 14) at noon.
Campaigner David Mountford said: “Predictably, the Pubs Code legislation has failed to achieve its two key principles. Whilst we recognise that after 18 months of inactivity under the watch of the Pubs Code Adjudicator Paul Newby, we now have an excellent Deputy Adjudicator in Fiona Dickie, the arbitration process has failed to set precedents that will stop the cycle of abuse that epitomises the tied business model. Reform of the legislation cannot come fast enough, whilst we still have pubs to save.”
The Pubs Code, which is a set of statutory regulations launched in July 2016, was supposed to manage the relationship between a tenant and pub-owning businesses such as EI Group and Punch Taverns, but campaigners and the Forum of Private Business believe the code is failing the very tenants it was set up to protect.
The Government set a review date of July 2019 to assess the efficacy of the Pubs Code and the Pubs Code Adjudicator, the body set up to enforce the code, but campaigners feel so strongly about the failure of the code that they are seeking real action now.
Ian Cass, managing director of the Forum of Private Business, said: “It’s imperative that the government step in early and strengthen the grey areas of the Code that are being exploited by the well-resourced pub-owning companies. The current situation leaves the Code not fit for purpose.”
Failure of the code
In recent weeks the plight of campaign members has been catching the attention of local councillors, keen to question the code and the impact it is having on businesses and communities within their own localities.
Lead councillor for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Simon Dudley, has written to his MP, Theresa May, highlighting the ongoing issues with pub companies and the failure of the Code.
As part of the Protect Pubs campaign, supported by various action groups and the Federation of Small Businesses, campaigners will be contacting MPs whose constituents are being failed by the code to ask them to support the move to ask the government to shore up the code.
It will also be seeking to present a case to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in July to ask them to bring the code in line with its original intentions.