Forum of Private Business welcomes Select Committee intervention on Pub Code

The intervention of the Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, Rachel Reeves, in pressurising the Small Business Minister, Richard Harrington, to take action against the big pub companies has been welcomed by business support organisation, the Forum of Private Business.

The intervention follows the Select Committee hearing attended by the Pubs Code Adjudicator, Paul Newby, and his deputy, Fiona Dickie.

In writing to Richard Harrington, Rachel Reeves draws to his attention, that following the questioning at the Select Committee, there is evidence that the PubCo’s, such as Green King, are bullying tenant landlords into accepting poor terms.

She cites “substantial evidence from tenants that some companies are actively seeking to thwart the objectives of the Pub Code by failing to provide adequate information about the Market Rent Only (MRO) process and by employing tactics to delay or deter tenants in pursuing this option”.

Commenting on behalf of the Forum, Dave Mountford said: “We have been working tirelessly at the Forum to bring the matter of the poor behaviour of the PubCo’s to the attention of those in a position to do something about it. The acknowledgement of the Pubs Code Adjudicator in the Select Committee that the Pubs Code is simply not being followed by the PubCo’s has now put the issue fair and square in front of the Minister responsible for it.”

Ian Cass, Managing Director of the Forum added: “In bringing the disregard of the Pubs Code by the PubCo’s to the attention of the BEIS Select Committee, we have sought to be cooperative and constructive in establishing a fairer playing field for tenant landlords. We have seen several examples of landlords simply being forced out of their pubs by unreasonable behaviour and demands for sizeable payments. The Select Committee has taken its responsibilities seriously and we applaud the Chair’s action in writing to Richard Harrington formally. The Forum will continue to lobby on behalf of its tenant landlord members, and to work with the regulators to force the PubCo’s to meet their obligations under the code.”

About Forum of Private Business

The Forum of Private Business is a not-for-profit comprehensive business support organisation founded in 1977. Our membership is spread throughout the UK and primarily made up of companies that employ between 1-50 employees, helping them to manage employees, saving time, giving advice, support and protection where a business needs it. We are a recognised leading authority on business issues and represent the interests of business owners on many consultative bodies. We have built a solid reputation, being influential in many areas of policy-making, in changing laws that affect small businesses, and we continue to campaign for the fair treatment of businesses within the UK. Everything we do is about making sure our members’ businesses operate profitably. This means that every penny we make goes back in to supporting our members, providing the support and resources that will enable businesses to flourish and grow.

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