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Cambridge pubs deserve tougher protection against PubCos

Daniel Zeichner, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Cambridge, has joined Labour MPs in backing local pubs acrossBritain who this week voted to introduce a new code to support small landlords and give consumers greater choice.

An estimated 26 pubs are closing each week in Britain and the large chains of pub companies (PubCos) have been accused of giving landlords a raw deal, with many paying over the odds for their alcoholic products. On Tuesday Labour held an Opposition Day debate in the House of Commons to demand that the Government introduces legislation in this year’s Queen’s Speech to support local pubs by introducing a statutory code which would include a free-of-tie option, open market rent reviews and an independent pubs adjudicator. This code has the support of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the Federation of Small Businesses and would give every landlord the choice to go free-of-tie, allowing licencees to operate in a more competitive market.

Mr Zeichner said, “Pubs in Cambridge need legislation to introduce a statutory code ensuring small landlords are no longer exploited in their relationship with PubCos. I recently surveyed licencees in the city and apart from condemning the impact of the rise in VAT on pubs, a rise which Julian Huppert supported, there was overwhelming support for a free-of-tie option. I know licencees in Cambridge who have left the trade in recent years after transforming failing pubs into profitable businesses only to see PubCos punish them, taking ever larger cuts of their hard earned profits through the guise of rent reviews.”  “We need to back our local pubs urgently and it’s now a year since ministers promised action on this issue, action which still hasn’t materialised. Labour has offered proposals which have the widespread support of licencees and it’s time for the Coalition to take real action to support small landlords otherwise Cambridge risks losing more pubs.”

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