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CAMRA have it wrong.

I read on the CAMRA website that they seem rather pleased with some crumbs from the governments table.

By Emily Ryans

Yesterday Pubs Minister John Healey announced a major package of reforms to support pubs, including a 12 point action plan. The package promises a number of sweeping reforms, particularly of planning regulations and the beer tie, and reflects the many issues on which CAMRA has been campaigning hard on for many years.

To support community pubs, the Government has announced: 

  • Greater protection for pubs under threat of demolition
  • A ban on restrictive covenants
  • Government funding for Pub is The Hub of £1 million
  • £3 million to support Community pub ownership

To reform the operation of the beer tie to ensure a fair deal for tenants and consumers, the Government has announced:
  • A one year deadline to fully implement the recommendations of the BIS Report before the government intervenes with legislation if necessary
  • A guest beer right for tied tenants
  • A free of tie option for tied tenants

CAMRA has warmly welcomed these proposals as recognition of the invaluable role that pubs play within their local communities. The proposals have the potential to totally transform the UK pubs market leading to a free, fair and competitive market where consumers will benefit through greater choice, improved amenity and lower prices.

We hope to see a similar commitment to support pubs from the other main parties before the General Election.

See John Healey's full statement here.

So despite the smoking ban leading to many pubs closing their doors, there is no amendment of this illiberal law allowing for choice, duties and costs imposed on pubs continue to rise and the health department along with assorted fake charities assume we need ever more regulation and price rises.

Labour caused the problems, now offer a rather poor package consisting of soundbites and CAMRA sit around and think this is a good thing! Maybe this is why I for one chose not renew my membership the other year.

The latest move on the part of this government is that they are planning on tightening up on the drink drive laws, which will lead to even more pubs closing. Clive Aslet isn’t too impressed in today’s Times:

There is a tiny irony in this. Not only might it be argued that the Government itself has precipitated the closure of many pubs by making it illegal to smoke in them — a blow to the traditional boozer, where sons of toil would spend all evening, perhaps several nights a week. Without this trade, licensees have only been able to survive by reinventing their establishments as gastro pubs, serving meals at prices that few locals could afford. I shouldn’t worry; I don’t smoke. I like the fact you can get a decent meal on your travels. But now the Government is considering making it impossible to get into a car if you’ve had so much as a single pint of bitter. That means they’ll lose my custom too.

Maybe a better option would be the lowering or freeze on duties along with a freeze on business rates with immediate effect and ensuring councils spend the taxes they claw from the business person in a better manner. This government hate drinkers and pubs, seeing them only as a means of raising duties. Until CAMRA realise who the enemy is I for one will not be renewing my membership.

6 people have spoken:

Brew Wales said...

The £3 million announced to help pubs is not new money but had already been previously allocated. So thats hardly a new proposal. As for everything else it sounds like a pre-election headline grabbing exercise. Did get quoted in Western Mail

418 said...

Also see:


TheBigYin said...

Thanks TLV for pointing out the elephant in the room in regards to the Clive Aslet piece on TimesOnline. Duly noted for next Saturday's post on F-2-C's blog.

Sue said...

They'll do anything but allow smoking. How bizarre. There are some really anally retentive people out there.

Lee Enfield Mk1 said...

Sue: Nazis researched smoking found it damages effects of propaganda.

I begged people to reconsider the effect of the Beer Orders 1990 when CAMRA were tugging themselves off over the dream of olde worlde pubs, clocks ticking, fire crackling, pints of mild drawn from wood casks in every pub blah blah - the only purpose of the pub was as a retail sales point - break the link between brewery and pub and every pub is just so much real estate with a £ value. Would East Suffolk CAMRA listen? Would they fuck. Now there are a few mega breweries, and pubs are shutting their doors by the thousand. People buy their booze at TESCO, and hide themselves away.

This is the outcome.

Fidothedog said...

Lee Enfield: Camra are stuck in the past, they think that they can deal with a government that sees them as cash cows to be squeezed to death.

Their inaction over taxes and lack of using their membership for political lobbying, putting pressure on MP's has seen them sidelined.

Now the very olde world pubs they love are closing and they still have their eyes closed an do nothing.

Its quite simple tell them membership not to vote Labour, but they wont.