It’s official, we have all been duped about pub closures.
We have been led down the garden path, by the Pub Companies (Pubco’s) and their lobbyists, the BBPA( British Beer and Pub Association).
Shock, horror, I hear you say. “Please explain of this dastardly deed and the reasons for it”.
Well, for years the above mentioned, have always maintained that “ tied “ pubs are closing in smaller numbers than free-of-tie pubs.
However, a recent report by CGA Strategy, who compile data on pubs,have proved that quite the opposite has been happening.
Now, before I reveal all, I have always thought that anyone with a modicum of sense, me included, would be highly suspicious that more freehouse boozers, were closing at a faster rate, than those in the tied sector - and so it has proved.
CGA have reported that in the last eight years – up to March 2013 – there has been a net closure rate of 15.9%(5,117) for leased and tenanted pubs and only 9.5%(2,131) for independent hostelries.
Now, my maths tell me that those figures clearly expose the Pubcos and their lobbyists at the BBPA of rolling out a load of old tosh, as the report from CGA states that the opposite has happened.
But hang on, I read that BBPA’s own figures explicitly show that the tenanted and leased sector has declined, whilst the number of freehouse boozers has increased.
Their own Statistical Handbook 2013 shows that over the last 10 years the “Free/Independent” sector had grown, while the “Tenanted and Leased”sector had shrunk.
So, BBPA, if you were fully aware of this, why have you continued to peddle this totally misleading information about pub closures?
In my opinion, that is acting in a pretty despicable and disgraceful manner - and I think most people reading this article, will agree.
Problem is, the UK Government is being influenced by these misleading statistics presented by the Pubcos and the BBPA.
In short, they are being duped.
And it is this government which is to hopefully introduce a statutory code of practice soon, that will give tenants a fair market rent option and also enable them to purchase beer on the open market, as opposed to buying off the Pubco’s ,at inflated prices.
So,in conclusion, I would say to Business Secretary, Vince Cable, who I believe is responsible for the code’s implementation, to ignore the baseless bleatings of the pubco’s and the BBPA’s “facts and figures” on pub closures and have the courage to address the stark reality of what is happening in our much loved watering holes.
And at the same time, give a fair deal to hard working, tied licensees, in thousands of our UK pubs.
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