Otley MP welcomes review on landlords’ plight

Wharfedale Observer: MP Greg Mulholland says licensees suffer MP Greg Mulholland says licensees suffer

A Wharfedale MP has welcomed news that the Government will be reviewing a code intended to improve relationships between pub companies and tenants.

Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West) has also welcomed the news that the review will be evidence-based.

But he has spoken out over how long it has taken for the self-regulatory code of behaviour to be implemented, and questioned how effective it will be.

The MP, who chairs the Parlia-mentary Save the Pub Group, is also calling on the Department for Business Innovation and Skills to investigate what he says is “clear evidence” of mis-selling leases by some of the large pub companies.

He said: “I welcome the announcement from ministers that they will be reviewing the self-regulatory solution put forward last year.

“It is particularly pleasing that this time around the minister has stressed the importance of taking an evidence-based approach, something the department failed to do when they attempted to address the issue a year ago.”

He said: “It is absolutely farcical, though, that it has now been a whole year since the publication of the Business Innovation and Skills Select Committee Report on pubcos.

“That highlighted the need for a statutory code to redress the crux issue within the pub sector, that of pub-owning companies operating on a leased model taking more than is reasonable from pub turnover, in both inflated beer prices and rents.

“That makes it difficult or impossible for the licensees to make a living.

“It is vital now that department officials really do take an evidence-based approach and recognise that this code, which is yet to have been implemented, will do nothing to address the real issue.”

He added: “The evidence is clear for all to see, with pub companies on the brink and pubs up and down the country closing.”

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