Memorandum submitted by The Woolpack
This building, as are many in the estate, is
in a deplorable condition. Landlords of rented buildings usually
look after the fabric. This is not the case with Enterprise Inns
pertaining to the public house.
No hot water available on tap.
Life expired upholstery.
All this is deterring customers from coming
in, ever mind returning.
Beverages must be purchased from the pubco,
ie Enterprise Inns at vastly inflated prices.
Wholesale barrel of beer
And Enterprise barrel of
beer at £92.44
Similar margins are in force for wines, spirits
and non-alcoholic beverages.
Currently, cash up front is required, making
supplies very difficult to come by. Deliveries from the pubco
are very unreliable giving two options: Purchase through a wholesaler
or travel to the depot to obtain the supply yourself requiring
a round trip of 40 miles twice a week.
Often an emergency delivery is required because
of missed scheduled delivery. This incurs a cost of £45.00.
If wet sales items are purchase wholesale, fines
are levied seemingly out of all proportion to the cost differentials.
An admisistration charge is imposed, £300.00 per pubco letter
on the fine levy. (The banking ombudsman would have something
to say about this amount).
No discount is allowed on purchase through the
pubco. No credit paid even though, supposedly allowed on supplied
beer that is unfit for sale and therefore purpose.
The above shows just how quickly a small pub
tenant can mount up considerable debt to which the pubco is unsympathetic.
The beer tie is supposed to allow a fair rent
to be applied for the premises. This is not the case. Here a rent
review depends on redecorating the public area for which funds
are not available. Income goes to paying unjustified costs, not
Whilst it is understood that this is almost
universal in its application, no efforthas been made by Enterprise
to provide shelter for those who wish to smoke. Other establishments
are often well furnished with either basic or extravagant shelter
from the elements. Result is that many customers stay away. And
why has nothing been done towards the other EU members to enforce
the smoking ban? IE Spain, as I noticed while there!! As we must
all come under the same rules.
A point of interestA relative who recently
had a visit to the House of Commons noted and took photos on their
mobile phone of the amount of smoking that was going on, I wonder
if the newspapers would like to see that!! Is it one rule for
the public and one fr the law makers?
Pubco's appear to be interested in buying, selling
and renting property. They should be reclassified as PROPCOS,
they have little interest in pubs as Public Houses. They have
a cavalier attitude and could not care less about the running
of the pubs. There are currently three Enterprise Inns houses
in the Otley district newly closed.
Pubs are a very important part of the community
and fabric of the nation. There are thousands of closed pubs in
the country with four more closing every week and this will rise
We realise that this downturn in trade is not
the direct fault of the pubco's completely, but the unregulated
sales in supermarkets etc, smoking ban and the lack of spending
power of the public at large.
Bureaucratic interference from Governments,
local and nationalas well as EU has had a major negative influence
on the trade.
Controlling the cash flow requires control of
Quality produce and pub ambience aside pricing
is the ruling factor regarding sales. The public is increasingly
nor prepared to pay for pricey products. This causes cash flow
problems as less cash enters the till and therefore the bank.
This results in the business running at a loss for periods which
get longer and longer.
In our case the pubco were not at all concerned,
in fact they made matters worse by severely restricting the business
by reigning in the supply of wet sales as mentioned elsewhere
in these notes.
A pub with no beer is a sorry place indeed.
This further deters customers.
In The Woolpack's case, as debt to Enterprise
increased the area managers only suggestion was to raise capital
by a secure loan on my private house. This would inevitably lead
to, should the downturn in trade continue, the loss of my home
witout any loss of sleep to the pubco.
It is interesting to note that after an increase
in sales the pubco invariably raise the rents, itself a disincentive.
A recent case locally has resulted in the untimely death of the
landlord following the enforced closure of his premises which
had been financed by the sale of his house. The restrictions to
the trade by the pubco are relentless, insidious and cause dismay,
grief and concern amongst the many with a vested interest in the
pub trade, be they licensees, staff, suppliers or the very many
whose lives are entwined in the pub culture which is being allowed
to wither and die, uncared about by authority.
The conduct of the pubco's leaves a lot to be
desired. They should be investigated from all angles, and made
to mend their ways by means of legislation if necessary.
However, it was Government interference in the
trade that brought into being the pubco's blight to this country.
Politicians of all persuasions should be aware and tread carefully
less matters deteriorate further.
Finally, a few years ago there was a Government
ad on television regarding "free enterprise" where businesses
were not tied to suppliers, but had the freedom to buy from other
sources. Does this still apply? And does it apply to the pubco's??