The Forum of Private Business and the Pubs Advisory Service were pleased to welcome the Pubs Code Adjudicator and his team to their Knutsford offices where they had a lively and proactive discussion about the code and the issues in implementing it, ensuring that it met its primary objectives that ‘there should be fair and lawful dealing and that tenanted licencees should be no worse off than the free-of-tie'.

The adjudicator's office identified some key areas where they needed help, but felt that they now had the resources in place to deal with a backlog of issues, though this would take time. One of the key issues that the PCA did reveal was the fact that they cannot adjudicate. Despite their title, the PCA can only reach agreement via arbitration, that means that all cases are dealt with individually and set no precedent. On this basis they also take up a lot of time and resource. However, if both parties to the arbitration were to waive confidentiality this would not be the case and it would solve a lot of problems moving forward.

Having attended a meeting yesterday called by the Minister for Business and Industry, Richard Harrington, and attended by a number of industry stakeholders including the pub owning businesses, it was agreed by all parties that this waiving of confidentiality would be a good idea and would help the PCA in his role.

Ian Cass and Dave Mountford said “We hope that parties in individual cases will agree to do this to enable the PCA to work through the backlog of arbitrations and help hard pressed tenants to achieve the market rent only options they seek, and so level what has been for many years a very uneven playing-field”

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About Forum of Private Business

The Forum of Private Business is a not-for-profit comprehensive business support organisation founded in 1977. Our membership is spread throughout the UK and primarily made up of companies that employ between 1-50 employees, helping them to manage employees, saving time, giving advice, support and protection where a business needs it.

We are a recognised leading authority on business issues and represent the interests of business owners on many consultative bodies. We have built a solid reputation, being influential in many areas of policy-making, in changing laws that affect small businesses, and we continue to campaign for the fair treatment of businesses within the UK.

Everything we do is about making sure our members’ businesses operate profitably. This means that every penny we make goes back in to supporting our members, providing the support and resources that will enable businesses to flourish and grow.