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British Pub Confederation Launched

Thursday, December 17, 2015

GMB A Founder Members Of British Pub Confederation To Speak Up For Britain’s Pubs And Publicans Launched On 17th December 2015

Upton Sinclair’s claim that "it is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it" explains the deaf ears at BBPA and the need for the new body says GMB.

GMB, the union for tied pub tenants, is a founder member of The British Pub Confederation - a new national confederation of pub organisations – that has been established to bring together many leading pro-pub groups to provide a strong voice for Britain’s pubs and publicans. It was launched on 17th December 2015.

The British Pub Confederation will bring together organisations who represent licensees, pub supporters and pub goers/customers following the successful Fair Deal for Your Local campaign and replaces the previous Independent Pub Confederation which was established in 2009 to give a stronger voice to non-corporate interests in the pub sector.

The British Pub Confederation ensure that pubs, publicans and pub supporters have a powerful unified voice in campaigning and lobbying the Government on key pub related issues.

Twelve organisations are the founding members of the British Pub Confederation: the Fair Pint Campaign, Licensees Supporting Licensees, Justice for Licensees, Punch Tenant Network, Forum of Private Business, Federation of Small Businesses, Pubs Advisory Service, Licensees Unite the Union, GMB, Guild of Master Victuallers, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association and the Parliamentary Save the Pub Group.

The British Pub Confederation is coordinated and governed by the Steering Group and each member organisation can appoint to two people on the steering group. Non-affiliated members can also be appointed by the steering group. Greg Mulholland MP, Chair of the Parliamentary Save the Pub Group has been appointed as Chair of the British Pub Confederation.

The British Pub Confederation have agreed Terms of Association, with its key issues of focus – ensuring that the Government implements promised reforms to the large pubco tied model, better protection for pubs from predatory purchasing, fairer taxation for pubs including specific pub specific measures and fairer business rates, a fair and sensible licensing regime and responsible retailing and supermarket pricing. It also intends to work closely with partner organisations in the sector, such as CAMRA, the ALMR, SIBA and Hospitality Ulster.

Greg Mulholland, Chair of the British Pub Confederation, said “I am delighted that these leading pub organisations have come together to form a powerful confederation to ensure that pubs and publicans have a strength and unified voice when speaking to Government and countering self-interested lobbying of vested corporate interests in the pub sector when needed as well as working with any organisations where there is a shared agenda that is clearly pro-pub.

“Following the highly successful Fair Deal for Your Local campaign, there was a widespread feeling that pub-supporting organisations needed to continue having a strong voice nationally, and that is exactly what the British Pub Confederation will do and will campaign together strongly to support, protect and champion British pubs.”

Steve Kemp, GMB lead officer for tied pub tenants, said "GMB welcome the setting up of this new body which speaks for all those running pubs, like farmers organizations speak for farmers.

The BBPA speaks for brewers and property freeholders, like landowners organizations speak for landowners.

Who speaks for who is still causing confusion and damage. As Upton Sinclair said "it is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." This explains the deaf ears at BBPA."

Clive Davenport of the Federation of Small Business and Vice Chair of the British Pub Confederation said: “The Federation of Small Business welcome the launch of the British Pub Confederation, and are happy to be a member of it. We feel very strongly about pub issues and wish to see the current problems facing the pub sector resolved, and commit to fighting for pubs’ rights in the future. As with all the Confederation members, we are working hard to improve the situation for British pubs.”

Simon Clarke of Fair Pint Campaign and Secretary of the British Pub Confederation,  said: "After the huge success of Fair Deal For Your Local, securing new laws to help protect tied tenants, it has become clear an umbrella group bringing together tenant representatives along with other industry specialists could help shape the future of the pubs sector. Fair Pint Campaign are thrilled to be a part of the new British Pub Confederation which will be the 'go to' organisation encouraging positive changes for a brighter pub future."

George Scott of Licensees Supporting Licensees said “Licensees Supporting Licensees is delighted to welcome, and be a founder member at, the formation of the new British Pub Confederation which has its origins in successful and significant, legislative campaigning.

“The British Pub Confederation will continue to campaign on a variety of ever-widening serious issues affecting the pub sector and will truly represent pubs and those who actually keep them going – starting with publicans, their customers, and the many smaller supporting organisations – previously almost completely ignored by the vested interests of big pub owning companies and some of their representative organisations.”

Paul Waterson, Chief Executive of The Scottish Licensed Trade Association said “The Scottish Licensed Trade Association is delighted to be one of the founding organisations of the British Pub Confederation. A recent poll showed that the vast majority of our membership believe the biggest threat to their businesses is government legislation. Only by coming together can The Licensed Trade truly have a strong influence on political decisions and continue to protect and develop The Trade. We look forward to working with our colleagues and partners on The British Pub Confederation for the good of all The UK’s Licensed Trade.”

Ian Cass of the Forum of Private Business said: “Taxation and regulation have been the leading causes of a decade long decline in the industry.

“For this reason now, more than ever, the industry needs the focus that the British Pub Confederation brings.

“Britain’s publicans are increasingly put at a disadvantage by Pubcos, by the unfair competition from supermarkets and by the unintended consequences of government policy, even though they offer an important part of the solution to combatting alcohol abuse.”

Inez Ward of Justice for Licensees said: "Justice for Licensees is proud to be a part of the British Pub Confederation, a group which is uniting the trade to fight for that renowned institution, the Great British Pub. For far too long consumers, licensees and communities have had to pay for the incompetence and irresponsibility of some corporate being. Government support is not too much to ask for when a part of Britain's history, heritage and culture is at stake."

Paul Naylor of Licensees Unite said: “Licensees Unite stand fully behind the British Pub Confederation. After the success of Fair Deal for your Local, we are pleased so many groups want to keep up the fight for the rights of British pubs. It is high time pubs received the full support of the Government, and we will campaign to make sure this happens.”

Chris Lindesay of Punch Tenant Network, said: "The Punch Tenant Network welcomes the establishment of the British Pub Confederation as a natural follow up to the highly successful FDFYL coalition.

“British Pubs are fundamental to our culture and social cohesion but are also the most highly taxed, commercially exploited and vulnerable assets of our local communities. We must to do more to protect our pubs and vehemently oppose those who seek to gain from their exploitation and demise.

“The new Confederation promises to provide a focus for the necessary vigilance backed up by lobbying and proven campaigning muscle."

Alex Frear of the Guild of Master Victuallers, said: “The Guild of Master Victuallers are delighted to be part of the British Pub Confederation. More than ever, it is vital that our trade work together to raise the important issues affecting our members and the industry as a whole, and are heard with a strong, united voice.”

Chris Wright of the Pubs Advisory Service, said: “The Pubs Advisory Service are delighted to join the British Pub Confederation and help protect one of the world’s most recognisable icons.”


Contact: Tom Burke for British Pub Confederation 020 7219 3822 or Steve Kemp 07730 898 102 or Dave Mountford on 07792 198 954 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823

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