Labour will use its first Opposition Day Debate of 2013 to hold the Tory-led Government to account for failing to back struggling pubs across Britain and local MP Andrew Gwynne will be there to stand up for pubs in Denton and Reddish.
Labour and Mr Gwynne are backing calls for a statutory code to guide and regulate the relationship between large pub companies (PubCos) – the branded chains of pubs which account for the majority of pubs in the UK – and their tenants and licencees and for tenants to be allowed to choose between a tied and non tied option, to ensure fair and open business opportunities for tenants and small brewers alike.
This call is supported by a broad coalition including the BIS Select Committee and groups in the pub trade, including CAMRA, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Independent Pub Confederation, Fair Pint and the Guild of Master Victuallers.
The vote will fall on the year’s anniversary of the House of Commons voting unanimously for a review of the self regulation of PubCos and for a statutory code to be considered. But ministers have ignored the vote, taken no action on the issue and have refused to listen to the broad coalition of groups calling for a review of self-regulation.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“Pubs are vital hubs for communities in Denton and Reddish and are valued strongly by local people, but due to the Tory-led government’s inaction and broken promises on backing small landlords they are closing at an ever-increasing rate.
“The number of pub closures a week has risen to 18 and over 200 pubs have been converted to convenience stores in the last two years alone. I will be voting in Parliament for the motion which demands the government take action and put in place a statutory code by the end of 2013 at the very latest, including a non-tied option for publicans.”
Labour’s Shadow Pubs Minister, Toby Perkins MP, said:
“A year after ministers promised action on this issue which has still not materialised, it is right that Parliament gets the opportunity to debate this vital issue.
“Labour has led calls alongside a broad coalition for a proper statutory code to support landlords, protect local pubs and help turn around the rising tide of pub closures. So we welcome the fact that, after Labour called a debate on pub companies, and on the very eve of this taking place, ministers have decided to think again. But it is greatly disappointing that they have ruled out giving landlords freedom to buy their beer where they want.
“Their solution still lacks two key components of a fairer model. Labour will continue to call for a proper statutory code with real teeth, including a free of tie option to give landlords freedom to buy their beer where they want, and open market rent reviews.”