Today (Tuesday 18th November) Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Tom Blenkinsop, will back an amendment to the Small Business Bill that will put an end to abusive business practices designed to take advantage of individual licensees.
The amendment will finally enshrine in law the right for the tenants of large companies to opt for a market rent-only option, ending the scandal of rip-off beer prices and excessive rents charged by PubCos.
Ahead of the vote Tom said:
“Local pubs are more than places for an evening drink – they support local charities, sponsor local sporting clubs and act as social hubs for the community they serve. Pubs are part of the social fabric of my constituency. They act as vital hubs for the communities and are valued strongly by local people. The work that pub landlords do is crucial in keeping these services operating in our communities, but far too many pub chain landlords are not getting a fair deal for the work they do.
“The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) estimates that 26 pubs close each week and that each closure costs local economies like ours £80,000. We have also lost a number of pubs in East Cleveland, which are just standing empty. We need to see policies that can see them re-open and again flourish. Many factors are behind this, including changing lifestyles and the increase in VAT, but undoubtedly the unfair and unbalanced relationship between PubCos and their licensees has been a key factor in pub closures.
“This amendment will ensure fairness in the relationship between the big pub companies and their landlords. They are local assets and valuable local employers and that’s why I am voting to provide greater fairness for landlords.”