Forum of British Pubs welcomes Heineken Pub Company fine after serious breach of Pub Code

The Forum of British Pubs, welcomes the result of the year and half long investigation into the Code avoidance practices of Star Pubs and Bars, part of the Heineken group and fully supports their findings.

The Forum recognises this kind of bad behaviour from most of the regulated pub companies and Star Pubs and Bars are far from the worst offender at attempts to avoid the Code, their unreasonable demand for stocking requirements shows their desire to avoid the aim of the code to rebalance the market place and provide a fair and level playing field for pub tenants. The size of the fine and the criticism in the Pub Code Adjudicator's (PCA) report sends a clear message to other regulated company’s that the PCA has finally bared its teeth and this kind of behaviour is not acceptable.

We support other tenant representative groups in condemning this sort of behaviour, which we have all reported to the PCA from the introduction of the code. The Forum have highlighted a systematic approach to avoiding parliament's intentions for the Pubs Code and particularly welcome the point that Ms Dickie makes regarding the role of the Code compliance officer, which has become something of an embarrassment to those who have attempted to use CCOs to register bad business practices with the companies concerned.

We now call on Ms Dickie to focus her investigative powers on the use of dilapidations in the industry, which is both used to avoid the Code and most importantly, as an income stream contrary to existing legislation in the form of the Landlord and Tenant Act

Dave Mountford of The Forum of British pubs said, “Whilst the PCA has been frustratingly slow in responding to code avoidance issues and in launching any kind of investigation into bad business practices aimed at avoiding the code, we are obviously pleased that the PCA have finally acted on the undeniable activities of Star Pubs and Bars and we look forward to working with her particularly if she is willing to turn her attention to the other systematic unfair business practices perpetuated by the majority of the regulated pub owning businesses and in making sure that the pubs code finally starts to work in the way parliament intended when it was first introduced”

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