CAMRA calls for fundamental changes to Pubs Code

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), which campaigns on behalf of 160,000 pub-goers, is urging Government to ensure that licensees are treated fairly.

The campaigning organisation is calling for a fundamental change to the Pubs Code for England and Wales, which was introduced to balance the relationship between pub companies and their tied tenants.

CAMRA has raised serious concerns about its operation and effectiveness and is calling for the Code to include more types of tenancies, give licensees the right to serve a guest beer, tackle the ongoing issue of dilapidations, require pub companies to publish information about rent assessments and give the Pubs Code Adjudicator more power and resources.

The policy submission follows new research from the Campaign which found that most licensees with regulated tenancies do not feel that they are treated fairly and lawfully nor that they are no worse off than a free of tie tenant – the two core principles that the Pubs Code was introduced to uphold.

CAMRA is also calling for direct communication between the Pubs Code Adjudicator and tied tenants, clarity over gaming machine ties, and for more public information to be made available by pub companies.

CAMRA’s Campaigns Director, Nick Boley said, “As consumers, it’s important to us that tied tenants can make a long-term success of their pubs and shape the unique character of their businesses to become an integral part of their community.

'This isn’t possible without a balanced relationship between licensees and pub companies, and CAMRA is keen to see the review of the Pubs Code in England and Wales used to its full potential.

“It’s vital that the Pubs Code works as originally intended by Parliament so that tied tenants are guaranteed fair and lawful dealing, and that they are no worse off than free of tie tenants – particularly given the challenges currently faced by the whole pub trade.

“I hope that Government takes this opportunity to make substantive changes to the Code and create a fairer system that works for licensees and consumers, as well as pub companies.”