Tuesday in Westminster Hall looks like a good debate will be happening as Swansea-born Nigel Evans MP will be holding a debate on the Future of the British Pub. The Ribble Valley MP and Vice-Chair of the All-Parliamentary Beer Club has secured one and a half hours of Parliamentary time for this subject that will hopefully be better attended than the debate in the Commons Chamber on the 26th March last year that attarcted a total of 5 MPs.
Nigel Evans MP, said he expects the debate to cover ”all the major reasons” pubs are closing.
“I know the number of closures has slowed a bit but it’s still far too many and the problems that existed for a while are still there.
“There’s the aggressive pricing by supermarkets that’s nearly constant, the bureaucracy and extra tax, the smoking ban has clearly had an impact way and above what was said it would have, and there’s the changing society with people staying at home.”
Evans, who sat on the Trade & Industry Select Committee that produced its critical report into pubcos in 2004, said: “I will mention the tie as well and make mention of Peter Luff’s committee report [last summer’s damning Business & Enterprise Committee report].
“The tie has impact on the viability of pubs if people can’t buy alcohol at competitive prices. Talk to any [tied licensee] they feel they are at a competitive disadvantage to freehouses.”
The Ribble Valley MP said he will speak to tied tenants this week ahead of the debate, which is due to run from 10.30am until midday.
A few problems facing the industry include: