Pub Companies - Business, Innovation and Skills Committee Contents

Supplementary written evidence submitted by Carol Ross

My rent review was due on 13 February 2011.

According to the Code of Practice they are supposed to commence discussions 12 months before this date. I provided my audited figures as stipulated as soon as practicably reasonable, my end of year 2010 figures were given to my BDM on 10 January 2011. (I paid my accountants to hurry them along for Rent Review purposes). Punch Taverns refused to put my audited figures (ie outgoings into their BAM format as set out in the Code of Practice.) I am no further on with my rent review considering this was supposed to be finalised by 13 February of this year. Discussions only commenced in December 2010, because I requested it.

I have written to Roger Whiteside with a copy of my letters of concern and I have just received another letter (not from Mr. Whiteside but a Mr. Pawson) informing me that they will be in contact:

This reads:

"We will endeavour to reply within fifteen working days having taken the opportunity to discuss the matter with our operations team.

Should the matter take longer than this, we will inform you of the new time scale".

This was dated 15 July 2011.

I do believe Punch Taverns are waiting for the outcome of the BISC before they reply.

I wish to have this noted on record that unless changes are made to the big Pub Companys' grossly unfair tactics, the demise of the Great British Pub will carry on.

I would like to point out that my pub is one of the Magnificent Seven which has been in the Good Beer Guide since first published in 1974. It has been in my family for 30 years, over the last 6 years, I have seen the high rents and unfair tie of beers close many local pubs. I have seen some of the best licensees go bust and lose their life savings. I have seen good licensees have breakdowns. This has got to change otherwise, we might as well close our doors too.

The only reason I am still in the pub is down to my customers who are lovely people, also this is my home. Pubs are not just pubs they are part of the community, or they used to be before Punch Taverns and Enterprise Inns became very greedy property companies.

I am sorry to have to write to the Committee direct but I do not think things will change unless we have statutory codes with fair market rents and free of tie on beers, at least then we may have some chance of keeping the pubs open and maybe even see others reopen as part of the community. I have put my case to everyone as an experienced licensee of 30 years—nobody listens. I have nothing else to lose.

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Prepared 6 October 2011