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More Punch Broken Promises

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

GMB To Alert Ministers Of Punch Broken Promises Over Shocking Condition Of Anglesey Pub In Commons Debate On 21 Jan On New Law On Tied Pubs

So six years later, after two enquiries and a huge consultation exactly the same thing that happened to Dave Mountford at the Rising Sun is happening now and the idea that Punch can be relied upon to self-regulate themselves is a sick joke says GMB.

GMB, the union for tied pub tenants, will alert Ministers of Punch broken promises over the shocking condition of an Anglesey pub when Parliament on 21st January debates the Government’s consultation on establishing a statutory code of practice to govern the relationship between pub companies and their tenants.  See notes to editors for copy of Labour Party press release on the opposition day debate.

In May 2010 GMB member and tied tenants Steve Saunders agreed to move in and at a later stage take on the lease of The Groeslon Arms, in Anglesey for a rent of £28,500 per year subject to an agreement that the freeholder Punch would bring the state of the premises into reasonable repair.

There was an agreement in May 2010 that Punch would deal with a long list of items to bring the building up to a basic condition. In the living and working areas these were as follows:

In the living area the problems were as follows:

· No Hot Water
· No washing area
· No bathroom - a report has been provided
· No heating
· Structural faults
· Damp
· Faulty Electrics
· The conditions in the living area have been condemned by to local Environmental Health Department


In the working area the problems were as follows:

· No fire alarm system
· No hot water
· Damaged windows
· No heating apart from one open fire
· Kitchen cannot be used due to safety problems.

Punch has simply gone back on the agreement. So far only the fundamental electric work has been done and a water heater fitted in the loft so that the tenant has a shower.

Steve Kemp, GMB lead officer for tied tenants, said "So six years later, after two official enquiries and a huge consultation exactly the same thing is happening to this member at the hands of Punch that happened to Dave Mountford at the Rising Sun. Punch continue to show bad faith. The idea that they can be relied upon to self-regulate themselves is a sick joke. ”

Steve Saunders, GMB tied tenant at the Groeslon Arms, said “In early 2010 we learned that the then lease holder was walking away as he could no longer carry on. We said that we may be interested in taking over. We met the then Punch Regional Manager in May 2010.

At that meeting we informed Punch of our interest but also our concerns about the condition of the premises. We were informed that a programme was to be put in place called Ready for Business which meant that Punch would rectify any issues with the property and make sure everything complies to regulations. Subject to that programme being carried out it was agreed that a lease transfer would be arranged between us and the previous lease holder.

At that meeting we were also asked if we could move in and carry on running the pub until such time as the lease was put in place. We said we would be prepared to move in and take over the running of the pub and move towards signing a lease but again stressed that the condition of the property has to be addressed at once. This was agreed and on that basis we took over running the pub.

This is something I regret doing as basically we have been lied to by no less than five Punch regional managers in the past four years. We have been hoodwinked, misled, bullied and ripped off. The premises has not been dealt with as agreed and is in a shocking condition.

I informed Punch in February 2013 year that I’ve had enough of this bad faith and their going back on what they agreed. I told them that as they did not consider themselves bound by their agreement with me that I did not think I was bound by it either.

 I told them I would not purchase any products from them until they comply with their agreement to bring the property up to scratch.

Mark Bromley Operations Director visited the site in July to see for himself the conditions we have been working and living in contrary to what we agreed and were led to expect by Punch in 2010.

So six years later, after two Government enquiries and a huge consultation exactly the same thing is happening to me at the hands of Punch that happened to Dave Mountford at the Rising Sun. Punch continue to show bad faith. The idea that they can be relied upon to self-regulate themselves is a sick joke.”

End

Contact Dave Mountford GMB branch secretary for tied pub tenants 07792 198 954 or 07794 021212 or Steve Kemp 07730 898102  

Notes to editors

Copy of Labour Press releases Labour are dragging Government to House of Commons to end great pub scandal - Toby Perkins

For the third year running, Labour are dragging the Government to the House of Commons to end the great pub scandal

Labour is forcing a Parliamentary debate on backing local pubs, pressing the Government to act as research shows 26 pubs are closing every week.

The debate will fall one year after Vince Cable, following Labour pressure and facing a Commons defeat, hurriedly announced his intention to introduce regulation to protect publicans from being exploited by the major pub owning companies owning more than 500 pubs. But twelve months later the Government are still dithering and have failed to put in place a statutory code to back local pubs. This followed a debate in January 2012 when the House of Commons voted unanimously for a review of the self-regulation of pub companies and for a statutory code to be considered.

Toby Perkins MP, Labour's Shadow Pubs Minister said: "Too many pubs across Britain are closing their doors and we urgently need action but ministers are dragging their feet. A wide range of bodies from the Federation of Small Businesses, CAMRA and trade unions to the BIS Select Committee and the All Party Save the Pub Group have recognised that the relationship between the big pub companies and local landlords is an unfair one which needs to be fixed and have backed plans for a proper statutory code with teeth.

"Pubs are vital hubs in communities up and down the country. By forcing a House of Commons debate we are demanding that the Tory-led Government act to support them rather than caving in to powerful vested interests."

Ends

Editor's notes

1. Labour will hold an opposition day debate on pub companies on Tuesday 21 January

2. Labour is backing calls for a statutory code to guide and regulate the relationship between large pub companies (PubCos) including a free of tie option

 

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