Draft Pubs Code Due Soon

The draft Statutory Pubs Code that was due this autumn apparently could be published within the next week or so. It is eagerly awaited by all concerned in the pub trade as the Code will become Law next May – 2016.

The Code will set out how the new Market rent-only option will operate and once the draft is published, there will be a period for everyone in the industry to have their voices heard in the debate that follows; ready for the final draft.

Within the industry people are beginning to get nervous about the lack of time for the draft to be discussed. There are so many jobs at stake and so it is important for the Government to get the legislation right.

Chris Wright of the Pubs Advisory Service (PAS) is concerned that the delay is useful to those pubcos looking to sell off sites that would be subject to the new law and thought that officials were dragging their feet over the whole affair. Chris is worried that the legislation will be weaker than it needs to be because of the delay and therefore the lack of time for good debate.

Kate Nicholls, for the ALMR (Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers) said that the commercial world worked at a different speed to Parliament and that preparation for rent reviews and renewals of leases for May onwards needed starting now – therefore draft legislation and a definite start date was needed now. She said that until the draft was published investment is stalling across the whole of the sector.

Brigid Simmonds of the BBPA said that everyone needed to work together to make the legislation as “workable and practical as possible.”

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