Tied Pub Tenant protests in Birmingham on March 15th to accuse Pub Adjudicator of failing to act in the interest of Tied Pub Tenants and Pubs.
Tied tenants are calling on Mr Newby to resign his position or they will continue to demonstrate their feelings on his appointment until Government accepts the fact that he does not have their support and relieves him of his position
Mr Paul Newby was appointed as the Pubs Code Adjudicator in May 2016, despite his obvious conflict of interest, being a former Director of the property Company Fleurets, who derive nearly a quarter of their income from the companies he is supposed to regulate. Mr Newby also retains shares in Fleurets, which will be effected by any impact of the Code on their clients – Brewers and Pub companies.
Part of his role is to adjudicate the new Law, The Pubs Code, which came into force in July 2016. Within this legislation there is the option for a tied tenant to choose to go “Market rent Only” or MRO which means enables them to buy their beer on the open market and have a reasonable market rent. Unfortunately Mr Newby has failed to make a single decision on over 100 referrals made to his office on this issue, resulting in tied tenants being forced to give up on the process
Mr Newby has also failed to investigate the continual abuse of tenants, which in the opinion of The PAS has increased in frequency since the Code came into effect.
In November 2015 Government lost their only vote until Brexit on one of their own Bills when the option to go Free of Tie was voted into the Small Business and Enterprise Bill. Mr Newby’s inaction have shown his complete indifference to the will of Parliamentary Democracy which occurred on this historic day.
Tenants from as far as Plymouth, Southampton and Hull will be attending the demonstration which has been organised by The Pubs Advisory Service, an organisation which has been a key part of the campaign to reform the unequal relationship between tied tenants and the Brewery’s that own Pubs and force them to pay sky high rents and hugely inflated prices for their beer under the “Beer Tie”.
The details of the protest are as follows:
Time: 12 Noon Date: Wednesday 15th March 2017 Address : The Office of the Pubs Code Adjudicator Lower Ground Victoria Square House Victoria Square Birmingham B2 4AJ
Tied tenants will be manning a bar outside of the Pubs Code Offices offering tasters of the specially brewed beers for the occasion. On offer will be pints of freshly brewed “Empty Promises”, “Dark and Murky Conflict” and a special “Bias IPA”
Chris Wright, Founder of PAS said: “The fact that the Pubs Code has had absolutely no impact on the horror stories we are seeing, seemingly on a daily basis, demonstrates the complete contempt in which our new law is held by the Pub Companies, showing they have no fear of Paul Newby or the power he is supposed to carry”
Dave Mountford also of PAS who is organizing the demonstration added: “When MRO was voted into the legislation in November 2015, we felt we had achieved everything that was needed to finally provide tied tenants with a fair deal. Alas the Government either deliberately or incompetently has put in charge, someone who has been part of the problem and then expected tenants to accept he will become part of the solution. Our justified fears about Mr. Newbys clear links to the industry he is supposed to regulate has been completely borne out by his actions or should we say, lack of them.”
Nicola Pearce, a tied Enterprise tenant from Plymouth who is making the 400 mile round trip said: “I’m here because every day that passes with no decision being made by Mr. Newby, has a detrimental effect on peoples lives. Every referral represents a person suffering and waiting for justice and in so many cases the justice they need isn’t coming fast enough for them”
Trudy Thomas, a Marston’s tenant from Droitwich and one of the first people to attempt to take the MRO offer said: “I applied for my MRO offer the day after the Pubs Code came into effect and I am no nearer getting there than I was then. Marston’s have put every obstacle in my way and its seems as if Mr. Newby is simply letting it happen in the hope that I will give up and go away, and whilst this is dragging on I’m losing money in a Pub that should be making me a profit.”
End Contacts: Dave Mountford, 0779 2198954 Chris Wright, 02036513351
Notes to editors: The Pubs Code : http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016/790/contents/made
The MRO Vote : http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Legal/Legislation/Government-to-accept-MRO-pubs-code-vote
The Pubs Advisory Service: http://pubs.expert
Paul Newby interviewed by the Business and Industry Committee http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Legal/Legislation/You-can-t-win-can-you-Pubs-Code-Adjudicator-grilled-about-conflict-of-interest
Paul Newby must stand down says BIS http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Legal/Legislation/BIS-select-committee-urges-replacement-of-Pubs-Code-Adjudicator
PAS Members give evidence against Paul Newby to BIS http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/business-innovation-and-skills/news-parliament-2015/pubs-code-adjudicator-evidence2-16-17/