Pub Companies - Business, Innovation and Skills Committee Contents

Written evidence from the British Beer & Pub Association

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) welcomes this opportunity to comment on the Government's response to the Select Committee's Report into Pub Companies.

The industry has learned much during the operation of the Framework Code over the last 18 months and has taken note of the criticisms made by the Select Committee. We have welcomed the help and guidance provided by BIS officials to ensure that the improvements we have identified can be delivered effectively and speedily.

The BBPA has worked with lawyers to ensure that the Industry Framework Code is legally binding on all our members with tied estates. All new lease or tenancy agreements will reference the Framework Code. For existing agreements the same legal status will be conferred by way of a supplementary agreement.

The Government has identified the difference between short tenancies operated mainly by Family owned breweries and longer Fully Repairing and Insuring leases (FRI). In particular the BBPA welcomes the Government's support for the principle of the Tie. We continue to believe that the Tie provides a low cost entry into running your own business which is unique and in the vast majority of cases works well.

The BBPA will work with its existing partners (BII and FLVA) to enhance the Framework Code to create more transparency and provide new clauses which will mainly apply to these FRI leases. We have looked at a range of issues to tackle which can be incorporated quickly and work has already started.

This includes:

Waiver Policies: certainty on timetables for the provision of pre-entry training; timetable for providing information; insurance and price matching; clarity on how AWP machine income is distributed; timetables for complying with complaints; clearer guidance on the need to take professional advice; further clarity on dilapidations; commitment to BDM training or exemption under a quantified waiver scheme; and the publication of a wholesale price list.

There are a number of other commercially sensitive issues which we are committed to consider before the end of the year including the AWP tie; improvements to the rental negotiation process; the enhancement of PIRRS and a consistent approach on shadow P & L statements.

The larger members of the BBPA with FRI leases will be committing to an annual statement of compliance and the accreditation body will have the ability to conduct spot checks on code compliance.

PIRRS already offers a low cost arbitration service for rent disputes. The new PICAS (Pub Independent Conciliation and Arbitration Service) will offer formal arbitration on any other complaint against the code and company practices. The cost will be minimal and there will an ability for costs and compensation to be awarded to the successful complainant if a company is found in breach. We are working to establish PICAS by the end of the year and to have appropriate professionals willing to act as independent arbitrators or mediators in place by the end of February 2012.

The BII is to establish a new Pub Advisory Service to be funded by corporate members of the BII.

We hope that the Select Committee will acknowledge the significant additional progress the industry has made and continues to make in both addressing the concerns raised in their Report and meeting the Government's challenging commitment to ensure a self-regulatory framework delivers a more transparent and effective pub sector.

As ever, the BBPA would be very happy to meet with the Select Committee to discuss any of the above.

Brigid Simmonds OBE
Chief Executive

and signed by the following members of the BBPA:
James Arkell


Arkell's Brewery

Richard Bailey

Chief Executive Officer

Daniel Thwaites plc

James Clarke

Managing Director

Jonathan Paveley


Hook Norton Brewery

Ralph Findlay

Chief Executive

Marston's plc

Paul Wells

Managing Director

Charles Wells Ltd

William Lees-Jones

Managing Director

J W Lees & Co

Stefan Orlowski

UK Managing Director

Heineken UK Ltd

Jonathan Paveley

Executive Chairman

Admiral Taverns

Peter Robinson


Frederic Robinson

James Staughton

Managing Director

St Austell Brewery

Ted Tuppen CBE

Chief Executive

Enterprise Inns

Michael Turner


Fuller Smith & Turner

Roger Whiteside

Chief Executive Officer

Punch Taverns

Jonathan Neame

Chief Executive

Shepherd Neame Ltd

Lloyd Stephens

Managing Director

Wadworth & Co

1 December 2011

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Prepared 11 January 2012