We joined the national campaign along with groups including The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), Fair Pint and the Pubs Advisory Service to encourage government to uphold the principle that a tied licensee should be not worse of than a free-of-tie licensee.
Small businesses are already under huge pressure in today's poor economic climate but small pubs tied into contracts with large pub companies are being subject to inflated prices and high rents. This not only impacts the tied pubs but the local economy – local brewers cannot sell to those pubs and if the pub goes under, as is happening to many tied pubs, what many would regard as a central point for the community is closed down and boarded up at minimal cost to the large ‘pubcos'.
Since the campaign started 73 MPs have demonstrated their support for the Fair Deal campaign. This is an excellent start but to push government into taking action we need more on side.
This week the Forum has written to MPs to encourage them to support the campaign. We want to encourage members who are in this position, or any members who just enjoy a drink in the local pub to lobby your local MP – The Fair Deal for Your Local website provides a letter template which makes writing to your MP a quick and easy process.
We also want to hear your views; are you a tied licensee, a micro-brewer, or just a pub goer? Let us know how the pubcos have affected your local pub or business. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your stories and hopefully this campaign can bring real change for small businesses.
The Fair Deal for Your Local campaign got off to a roaring start last month and has since seen a number of regional launches across the UK including Edinburgh, Yorkshire. Find out how we're supporting the campaign – and how you can too.