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:
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.