Alison McGovern MP

Wirral South

Labour act on achieving a fairer deal for pub landlords

Local pubs are an important part of our communities. This is the reason that I decided to hold my Summer Pub Tour in Wirral South's fine local establishments.

I visited many local pubs in my constituency to chat to my constituents and to support our local pubs as I know what an important and traditional community meeting point they are.

It is concerning however that 27 pubs close every week and also 57% of landlords who are tied to large pub companies (pubcos) earn less than £10,000 a year.

This is why I was relieved to see the government defeated recently in the House of Commons over something that the Labour Party have been calling for to get a fairer deal for landlords.

That something is a statutory code with teeth on pub companies that would put an end to the unfair treatment tenants have received from the large pub companies.

Labours plans have won support from a broad coalition of campaigners including the Campaign For Real Ale (Camra) the Federation of Small Businesses, trade unions and the cross-party BIS Select Committee.

Government Ministers must now act on implementing a proper statutory code which would allow a free of tie option to protect local pubs.

It would allow publicans to buy their beers on the open market whenever a new contract is negotiated.

We achieved this by backing a new cross-party clause to the Small Business Bill despite the government opposing it.

I believe this change is the best way of ensuring that large pub companies offer fair terms to their licensees and to finally address the scandal of so many valued community pubs shutting.

By Alison McGovern MP for Wirral News

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