Monday, 27 January 2014

The Tories need to adopt Labour’s plans to save our local pubs

This week I backed local pubs in Haslingden and Hyndburn by voting in Westminster to introduce a new code to support small landlords and give consumers greater choice.

Pubs are vital hubs for communities in Haslingden and Hyndburnand are valued by local people, but due to the Government’s inaction and broken promises, they are closing at an ever-increasing rate. This costs jobs, especially for young people, and hits the local economy by an average of £80,000 each time a pub shuts.

The large chains of pub companies (PubCos) have also been accused of giving landlords a raw deal, with many paying over the odds.

That’s why I joined Labour colleagues this week in calling for legislation to introduce a statutory code protecting small landlords and ensuring they are no longer exploited in their relationship with pub companies.

Campaigners have demanded a code that includes a free-of-tie option, open market rent reviews and an independent pubs adjudicator. This would give every landlord the choice to go free-of-tie, allowing licencees to operate in a more competitive market.

We need to back our local pubs and it’s time for the Tories to take real action to support small landlords otherwise our area risks losing more pubs, and more jobs.