CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has today appointed a new National Chairman to lead its 110,000 members.
Colin Valentine, former CAMRA National Vice-Chairman and Branch Chairman of CAMRA's Edinburgh and South East Scotland, has taken over the role from Paula Waters, who will remain on CAMRA's board of Directors, the National Executive.
Mike Benner, CAMRA's Chief Executive, said:
'CAMRA has grown in stature since Paula Waters took over the position of CAMRA's National Chairman in 2004, and through her leadership, CAMRA surpassed its 100,000 member milestone, and has campaigned successfully on many levels to promote and protect community pubs and local brewers and consumer rights. Her reign as Chairman over the past 6 years has seen a shift in the number of consumers trying real ale for the first time, a boom in the number of real ale brewers operating in the UK, and major changes to the pub industry, not least in the way pubs are now licensed and regulated.
'The appointment of Colin Valentine is an exciting one for the Campaign, and we've no doubt Colin will provide the strong leadership and direction necessary when tackling the major issues affecting the future success of the organisation. These issues include stemming the rate of pub closures across the UK, championing pubs as the centres of community life, and fighting to reform 'beer tie' arrangements in the pub market.'
Colin Valentine, newly-appointed CAMRA National Chairman, said:
'I am overwhelmed that my fellow directors have chosen me to lead the Campaign. I have a very hard act to follow having taken over from CAMRA's first female Chairman and I can only hope that, as CAMRA's first Scottish Chairman, I carry on the good work. Even with record number of members signing up, we still face challenging times and I aim to be as strong a champion of the pub-goer as Paula was. CAMRA has helped create the circumstances where consumers are increasingly demanding quality and provenance. The competition to be included in our Good Beer Guide is as strong as ever, even in these difficult times, and proves that if you offer the consumer a quality product in good surroundings, they will spend their hard earned money in your pub.'
Paula Waters, CAMRA's former Chairman, said,
'It's been an honour to serve CAMRA as its National Chairman and I thank our thousands of committed activists and my fellow National Executive members for their hard work and support. I rest assured that the Campaign will continue to thrive under the Chairmanship of Colin.'
For further information:
CAMRA Press Office, 01727 798443