WHY PUT MORE OUT OF WORK

In the first year Scotland band smoking over two thousand pubs went out of business, if each of those employed 3 staff, 6000 out of work, how many have been put on the dole since the overall ban was introduced in England and Wales.

How many tobacco workers would be out of work, how many drivers out of work, the list of people that would end up on the dole and that’s just our country, would be criminal.

Note to all in favour of an overall ban!

DO YOU WANT TO PAY MORE TAX?

Why is this idea important?

In the first year Scotland band smoking over two thousand pubs went out of business, if each of those employed 3 staff, 6000 out of work, how many have been put on the dole since the overall ban was introduced in England and Wales.

How many tobacco workers would be out of work, how many drivers out of work, the list of people that would end up on the dole and that’s just our country, would be criminal.

Note to all in favour of an overall ban!

DO YOU WANT TO PAY MORE TAX?

Abolish Stupid Restrictions on Pole Dancers

In a bizarre burst of Sir Humphryism, councils up and down the country have introduced huge rule books saying what pole dancers can and cannot do. In many council areas there are actual licence conditions banning a dancer from getting closer than 3 feet from their cutomer. How is this enforced? Is the dancer issued with a tape measure? If the customer is sat down is this measured from his face, hands or knees? If measured from his kneeds his face will be well over 4 feet away.

Other rules prevent dancers from flicking their hair.

Seriously, is this good use of the law?

Armies of public sector workers draft these rules, then write them into every licence, and even run training sessions! Club owners have to teach casual labouring staff – the dancers – every single rule, even if they only turn up once, because breaking the rules just once can lead to closure.

The more complex and lengthy rules are, the higher the risk that people will forget bits and misunderstand others.

Only one rule is required, and that is "No genital contact".

Why is this idea important?

In a bizarre burst of Sir Humphryism, councils up and down the country have introduced huge rule books saying what pole dancers can and cannot do. In many council areas there are actual licence conditions banning a dancer from getting closer than 3 feet from their cutomer. How is this enforced? Is the dancer issued with a tape measure? If the customer is sat down is this measured from his face, hands or knees? If measured from his kneeds his face will be well over 4 feet away.

Other rules prevent dancers from flicking their hair.

Seriously, is this good use of the law?

Armies of public sector workers draft these rules, then write them into every licence, and even run training sessions! Club owners have to teach casual labouring staff – the dancers – every single rule, even if they only turn up once, because breaking the rules just once can lead to closure.

The more complex and lengthy rules are, the higher the risk that people will forget bits and misunderstand others.

Only one rule is required, and that is "No genital contact".

24 hours is not the problem – !!

Before any further reviews or sub-committees are set up (“with industry insiders”) to discuss the continuing debacle of binge drinking in our society, and the laws that surround it, may I at this late stage offer my own comments on a possible way forward.
As a 62 year old ex licensee, with more than 25 years experience in the trade, I have seen most of the situations that regularly arise at weekends in our city centres. It pains me terribly to think of the wasted energies and the lack of moral compass that these young people exemplify. However, I believe that the root of the problem does NOT lie in an all out ban on late drinking, or 24 hour drinking for that matter. There has been a root change in the licensed trade, some of which has slowly evolved with time, but more importantly, a well defined alteration to our laws that occurred in the very recent past; namely the transfer of powers from the Local Magistrates Courts to Local Councils.
Have we all not seen how so many of our councils are overburdened, and may I add, far too heavy at the top end of management in being unable to control their own spending, and yet seem to be able to be aware of and govern everything from the environment to an in depth knowledge of our culture.
The simple fact is that when the Local Magistrates were in control, every late licence application had to be applied for IN PERSON, and good cause had to be given for its use. The Magistrates over a period of time got to know every licensee individually. They made regular visits every 4 or 5 months just to keep an eye on the licensee. In 14 years in my last pub, which was in a village location, I never had 1 single application refused, and I applied for dozens. I kept my house in order, and used my loyal customers to defuse any possible sign of disturbance there might be. At the same time, I have seen licensees who have been turned down at the same time as my own application has been passed, and who have said to me on exiting the court, “How did you get yours, when I can’t ?”I have had a 30th birthday celebration accepted when a 50th. wedding anniversary has been refused; need I say more other than the fact that the magistrates knew who they were dealing with, and treated all the licensees with respect but also with a firm hand.
The problem with the weekend culture in our towns and cities is not new. I was one of a crowd of friends who from our mid teens used to find a pub where we could get a drink under age, but we never abused that privilege because we knew what the consequences would be for both the licensee, and for us from our parents. But those licensees do not exist now.
In those days, most of the pubs, if not all in our town centres were ran by breweries. They knew their licensees and had regular contact with all their licensees through their Area Managers. Today, let us not forget that there aren’t too many breweries left. They are mostly pub management companies whose sole interest is a profit for their investors. This, along with 1 or 2 other extremely important factors is what has transformed the business.
Because of the greed of nearly all the pub companies; one only has to look at the overall investment in pubs at a grass roots level (virtually NIL – unless there is a potential niche market opportunity) and see that this has led to the rapid decline in our pubs in recent years. But where the pub struggles to survive, and the old licensee gives way and retires, the only people today who are available to take over are young people. The extortionate rents being applied have finally dawned on the older licensee that there is NO Profit to be made from a tenancy or at the very least a subsistence income.
Young people are flocking to become managers – an easy way out of not working for a living, but watching everyone else giving them their income. A 20/25 year old CANNOT and never will be able to control the respect of a pub’s clientele if their language and demeanour is that of their customers. In today’s environment, a licensee cannot be one of the boys. He must stand back and manage his business.
My own pub stands as an excellent example of the problem. As I retired, the brewery was taken over by a pub company. After 14 years with the same licensee, the company produced 9 managers in 9 years – 6 of whom were in their early to mid twenties. Their language, attitude and social awareness was that of the clientele they brought with them. My old pub went from being a totally village orientated family friendly pub with customers from 16 to 90, to a virtually teenage club for youths and their girlfriends, whose language in many cases was worse than that of the boys. ALL the older clientele stopped supporting the pub, and it is only now, ten years on that we have a 54 year old licensee who is trying to redeem the situation, but is struggling tremendously to turn the pub round. I digress, but do believe that the above provides an excellent example of the fundamental problems facing the trade.

For my e-mail two of two
own small effort, I would like to propose the following:
1) Re-assign the extended licence applications to the magistrates.
They know the licensees and would therefore have an insight into the premises and any local issues that may result from such applications. Also make ALL new applications acceptable only on a 3 monthly basis initially, and a regular 6 monthly review thereafter, at which time any breaches of the terms would be dealt with and in extreme circumstances the licence be revoked.
2) Insist that all Managers of town centre establishments are a minimum of 30 years of age and BAN BY LAW, all cheap doubles and chaser drinks. If they continue to be advertised outside premises, then prosecute IMMEDIATELY.
3) Differentiate BY LAW, the difference between “pubs & restaurants” and those premises which although classified as pubs, are in fact clubs that have escaped the net of membership by a lack of enforcement of what is allowed in pubs. Dancing and discos were at one time subject to certificates for entertaining and cost a considerable amount of money.
4) In the case of Pub companies, persuade the management to make the BDM’s as they are called now (the old area managers) to be responsible for the management of their pubs.
At one time, a manager could not hold a licence of his own volition, but had to have his area manager’s name on the licence. Ie HE TOO WAS RESPONSIBLE.
5) By force of law, stop pub companies from retailing their goods to supermarkets and off-trade sales below that price applicable to their pubs. If they do have an “admirable working relationship” with their managers and tenants, which the directors of several have purported on BBC’s radio 4 on numerous occasions, then this would go a long way towards reducing the need for offers to attract custom because there would be a level playing field, and therefore no incentive to the licensee.

There is much more to be done, but the above would get to grips with the problem, and not condemn the average social drinker to the kicking in the teeth he keeps receiving from both government and the pub companies. I now have my own business doing accountancy for pubs, and if we are to keep the hub of our villages alive, then the owners must be far more realistic in the returns they expect from their pubs. Government guidance could come in here. When the average rates, council tax and utility charges for many pubs today approaches the region of £20,000 per year BEFORE rent at £18-30,000, how do the pub companies expect their pubs to survive ? That is BEFORE the licensee has bought his beer At the present time, the average licensee is a cash cow for the company who are only interested in their estate’s valuation. Why else are they forever selling their “unviable” pubs ?
It may be late in the day, but I do feel that my voice had to be aired in the current climate, and I know that many of my fellow licensees feel exactly the same way, but like farmers, we are a very competitive people, and have to be to survive, and yet more and more, the trade organizations who purport to represent the licensee, invariably are only representing the organizations that are killing the industry.
PRPMS

Why is this idea important?

Before any further reviews or sub-committees are set up (“with industry insiders”) to discuss the continuing debacle of binge drinking in our society, and the laws that surround it, may I at this late stage offer my own comments on a possible way forward.
As a 62 year old ex licensee, with more than 25 years experience in the trade, I have seen most of the situations that regularly arise at weekends in our city centres. It pains me terribly to think of the wasted energies and the lack of moral compass that these young people exemplify. However, I believe that the root of the problem does NOT lie in an all out ban on late drinking, or 24 hour drinking for that matter. There has been a root change in the licensed trade, some of which has slowly evolved with time, but more importantly, a well defined alteration to our laws that occurred in the very recent past; namely the transfer of powers from the Local Magistrates Courts to Local Councils.
Have we all not seen how so many of our councils are overburdened, and may I add, far too heavy at the top end of management in being unable to control their own spending, and yet seem to be able to be aware of and govern everything from the environment to an in depth knowledge of our culture.
The simple fact is that when the Local Magistrates were in control, every late licence application had to be applied for IN PERSON, and good cause had to be given for its use. The Magistrates over a period of time got to know every licensee individually. They made regular visits every 4 or 5 months just to keep an eye on the licensee. In 14 years in my last pub, which was in a village location, I never had 1 single application refused, and I applied for dozens. I kept my house in order, and used my loyal customers to defuse any possible sign of disturbance there might be. At the same time, I have seen licensees who have been turned down at the same time as my own application has been passed, and who have said to me on exiting the court, “How did you get yours, when I can’t ?”I have had a 30th birthday celebration accepted when a 50th. wedding anniversary has been refused; need I say more other than the fact that the magistrates knew who they were dealing with, and treated all the licensees with respect but also with a firm hand.
The problem with the weekend culture in our towns and cities is not new. I was one of a crowd of friends who from our mid teens used to find a pub where we could get a drink under age, but we never abused that privilege because we knew what the consequences would be for both the licensee, and for us from our parents. But those licensees do not exist now.
In those days, most of the pubs, if not all in our town centres were ran by breweries. They knew their licensees and had regular contact with all their licensees through their Area Managers. Today, let us not forget that there aren’t too many breweries left. They are mostly pub management companies whose sole interest is a profit for their investors. This, along with 1 or 2 other extremely important factors is what has transformed the business.
Because of the greed of nearly all the pub companies; one only has to look at the overall investment in pubs at a grass roots level (virtually NIL – unless there is a potential niche market opportunity) and see that this has led to the rapid decline in our pubs in recent years. But where the pub struggles to survive, and the old licensee gives way and retires, the only people today who are available to take over are young people. The extortionate rents being applied have finally dawned on the older licensee that there is NO Profit to be made from a tenancy or at the very least a subsistence income.
Young people are flocking to become managers – an easy way out of not working for a living, but watching everyone else giving them their income. A 20/25 year old CANNOT and never will be able to control the respect of a pub’s clientele if their language and demeanour is that of their customers. In today’s environment, a licensee cannot be one of the boys. He must stand back and manage his business.
My own pub stands as an excellent example of the problem. As I retired, the brewery was taken over by a pub company. After 14 years with the same licensee, the company produced 9 managers in 9 years – 6 of whom were in their early to mid twenties. Their language, attitude and social awareness was that of the clientele they brought with them. My old pub went from being a totally village orientated family friendly pub with customers from 16 to 90, to a virtually teenage club for youths and their girlfriends, whose language in many cases was worse than that of the boys. ALL the older clientele stopped supporting the pub, and it is only now, ten years on that we have a 54 year old licensee who is trying to redeem the situation, but is struggling tremendously to turn the pub round. I digress, but do believe that the above provides an excellent example of the fundamental problems facing the trade.

For my e-mail two of two
own small effort, I would like to propose the following:
1) Re-assign the extended licence applications to the magistrates.
They know the licensees and would therefore have an insight into the premises and any local issues that may result from such applications. Also make ALL new applications acceptable only on a 3 monthly basis initially, and a regular 6 monthly review thereafter, at which time any breaches of the terms would be dealt with and in extreme circumstances the licence be revoked.
2) Insist that all Managers of town centre establishments are a minimum of 30 years of age and BAN BY LAW, all cheap doubles and chaser drinks. If they continue to be advertised outside premises, then prosecute IMMEDIATELY.
3) Differentiate BY LAW, the difference between “pubs & restaurants” and those premises which although classified as pubs, are in fact clubs that have escaped the net of membership by a lack of enforcement of what is allowed in pubs. Dancing and discos were at one time subject to certificates for entertaining and cost a considerable amount of money.
4) In the case of Pub companies, persuade the management to make the BDM’s as they are called now (the old area managers) to be responsible for the management of their pubs.
At one time, a manager could not hold a licence of his own volition, but had to have his area manager’s name on the licence. Ie HE TOO WAS RESPONSIBLE.
5) By force of law, stop pub companies from retailing their goods to supermarkets and off-trade sales below that price applicable to their pubs. If they do have an “admirable working relationship” with their managers and tenants, which the directors of several have purported on BBC’s radio 4 on numerous occasions, then this would go a long way towards reducing the need for offers to attract custom because there would be a level playing field, and therefore no incentive to the licensee.

There is much more to be done, but the above would get to grips with the problem, and not condemn the average social drinker to the kicking in the teeth he keeps receiving from both government and the pub companies. I now have my own business doing accountancy for pubs, and if we are to keep the hub of our villages alive, then the owners must be far more realistic in the returns they expect from their pubs. Government guidance could come in here. When the average rates, council tax and utility charges for many pubs today approaches the region of £20,000 per year BEFORE rent at £18-30,000, how do the pub companies expect their pubs to survive ? That is BEFORE the licensee has bought his beer At the present time, the average licensee is a cash cow for the company who are only interested in their estate’s valuation. Why else are they forever selling their “unviable” pubs ?
It may be late in the day, but I do feel that my voice had to be aired in the current climate, and I know that many of my fellow licensees feel exactly the same way, but like farmers, we are a very competitive people, and have to be to survive, and yet more and more, the trade organizations who purport to represent the licensee, invariably are only representing the organizations that are killing the industry.
PRPMS

Smoking Ban

The smoking ban has damaged the pub / club industry.I think unless a pub/club serves food then the ban should be lifted and left to the discretion of the landlord.Where food is served maybe a smoking area could be made available.

Most landlords (that still have Pubs) have had to spend thousands of pounds fitting smoking shelters and heating them against our harsh winters.Surely a landlord should be able to make the decison as to wether he/she feels that their pub should be smoking or non-smoking,does his/her pub need a dedicated smoking area,should they continue to ban it in their pub or should they spend a few hundred pound installing air purifiers to combat the smoke issue.

The atmosphere in pubs/clubs has been damaged,most of the non smokers now feel like leppers because they are left sitting on their own while us smokers go for fag.A lot of non smokers actually come outside to join us when we go for fag because they dont want to be left alone.Where is the common sense in this ban. 

Why is this idea important?

The smoking ban has damaged the pub / club industry.I think unless a pub/club serves food then the ban should be lifted and left to the discretion of the landlord.Where food is served maybe a smoking area could be made available.

Most landlords (that still have Pubs) have had to spend thousands of pounds fitting smoking shelters and heating them against our harsh winters.Surely a landlord should be able to make the decison as to wether he/she feels that their pub should be smoking or non-smoking,does his/her pub need a dedicated smoking area,should they continue to ban it in their pub or should they spend a few hundred pound installing air purifiers to combat the smoke issue.

The atmosphere in pubs/clubs has been damaged,most of the non smokers now feel like leppers because they are left sitting on their own while us smokers go for fag.A lot of non smokers actually come outside to join us when we go for fag because they dont want to be left alone.Where is the common sense in this ban. 

Don’t allow repeated license variation applications for the same bar or pub

At the moment pubs and bars can apply as often as they like for things like longer opening hours and permission to play music etc. This means that if local residents object and go to a licensing hearing and show there are real problems being caused by the activities of the pub/bar and prevent the changes requested, the licensee can just start the whole process again straight afterwards. It costs a lot of money for councils and licensing committees to repeat the proceedings again and again and also means any objectors have to take more time off work to go to more hearings etc.  It seems that the repeated applications are made so that eventually the amount of residents objecting reduces (as they can't keep taking time off work) and the likelihood of the application for extended hours etc. being granted increases. 

If applications for variations of licenses were only allowed once a year then a lot of money and invonvenience would be saved without removing the right for a licensee to try and extend their license at a later date.

Why is this idea important?

At the moment pubs and bars can apply as often as they like for things like longer opening hours and permission to play music etc. This means that if local residents object and go to a licensing hearing and show there are real problems being caused by the activities of the pub/bar and prevent the changes requested, the licensee can just start the whole process again straight afterwards. It costs a lot of money for councils and licensing committees to repeat the proceedings again and again and also means any objectors have to take more time off work to go to more hearings etc.  It seems that the repeated applications are made so that eventually the amount of residents objecting reduces (as they can't keep taking time off work) and the likelihood of the application for extended hours etc. being granted increases. 

If applications for variations of licenses were only allowed once a year then a lot of money and invonvenience would be saved without removing the right for a licensee to try and extend their license at a later date.

Legalise Sale of Snus in the UK

Snus is a tobacco product available in Sweden, where it has a long tradion of use, but it is not legal to sell it in th UK. Snus is proven to be a healthier option than smoking.

Why is this idea important?

Snus is a tobacco product available in Sweden, where it has a long tradion of use, but it is not legal to sell it in th UK. Snus is proven to be a healthier option than smoking.

Lets lift the smoking ban it’s killing England

PUBS CLOSING THE TRADE IS DYING. WE SHOULD HAVE A CHOICE US THE BRITISH PEOPLE NOT TO BE DICTATED TO AND TOLD WHAT WE CAN AND NOT DO FREEDOM OF CHOICE PLEASE. A FAG AND A PINT NOT STANDING IN THE COLD

Why is this idea important?

PUBS CLOSING THE TRADE IS DYING. WE SHOULD HAVE A CHOICE US THE BRITISH PEOPLE NOT TO BE DICTATED TO AND TOLD WHAT WE CAN AND NOT DO FREEDOM OF CHOICE PLEASE. A FAG AND A PINT NOT STANDING IN THE COLD

Repeal H&S Law Banning 2-in-a-bar Pub Entertainment

In about 1999 Labour enacted a new Health & Safety law.

Until then any pub could stage occasional enertainment with 1 or 2 entertainers with no paperwork whatsoever, under the "2 in a bar" rule.

Many pubs used this for folk singers or kareoke. Some had aspiring stand up comics. Some had talent nights. A few even had one stripper once or twice a week. For many pubs this was an essential lifeline when finances were tight. It was easy, there were no complex forms or assessments, no licencing hearings, fees or delays.

Then Labour introduced compulsory Health & Safety assessments, even for one stand up comic appearing for an hour twice a year. The cost of expert assesments could easy be the cost of a barman/woman's wages for a year. And that was without expensive H&S adaptations in case the perfectly ordinary pub suddenly became unsafe. Measures seen as appropriate for crowded pubs with off-West End theates upstairs and audiences of 100s packed into small spaces were applied equally to rural pubs with 10 customers and 3 exits.

Result? Overnight closure of many small struggling pubs including my favourite, The Fort.

This is H&S overkill. And anyone who says won't it being back strippers, I say they were in most towns until then, and had been for at least 20 years, on an occasional discreet basis. By all means have licencing for all-day 7-day-a-week establishments that don't do anything else, but this ban closed struggling community pubs. It destroyed a financial safety valve, diversity, and directly lead to concentration of all-day 7-day-a-week establishments specialising in pole dancers because only the big operators could afford the operating costs. And that concentration is not a good thing for custoers, neighbours or dancers.

Why is this idea important?

In about 1999 Labour enacted a new Health & Safety law.

Until then any pub could stage occasional enertainment with 1 or 2 entertainers with no paperwork whatsoever, under the "2 in a bar" rule.

Many pubs used this for folk singers or kareoke. Some had aspiring stand up comics. Some had talent nights. A few even had one stripper once or twice a week. For many pubs this was an essential lifeline when finances were tight. It was easy, there were no complex forms or assessments, no licencing hearings, fees or delays.

Then Labour introduced compulsory Health & Safety assessments, even for one stand up comic appearing for an hour twice a year. The cost of expert assesments could easy be the cost of a barman/woman's wages for a year. And that was without expensive H&S adaptations in case the perfectly ordinary pub suddenly became unsafe. Measures seen as appropriate for crowded pubs with off-West End theates upstairs and audiences of 100s packed into small spaces were applied equally to rural pubs with 10 customers and 3 exits.

Result? Overnight closure of many small struggling pubs including my favourite, The Fort.

This is H&S overkill. And anyone who says won't it being back strippers, I say they were in most towns until then, and had been for at least 20 years, on an occasional discreet basis. By all means have licencing for all-day 7-day-a-week establishments that don't do anything else, but this ban closed struggling community pubs. It destroyed a financial safety valve, diversity, and directly lead to concentration of all-day 7-day-a-week establishments specialising in pole dancers because only the big operators could afford the operating costs. And that concentration is not a good thing for custoers, neighbours or dancers.

Save live music in pubs – Repeal Licensing Act 2003

Repeal the Licensing Act 2003. Or, as a bare minimum, remove "the provision of regulated entertainment" from the licensable activities definition.

The Act defines "licensable activities" as:

  • the retail sale of alcohol,
  • the supply of alcohol in clubs,
  • the provision of late night refreshment, and
  • the provision of regulated entertainment

In turn, "regulated entertainment" is defined as:

  • a performance of a play,
  • an exhibition of a film,
  • an indoor sporting event,
  • a boxing or wrestling entertainment (both indoors and outdoors),
  • a performance of live music,
  • any playing of recorded music, or
  • a performance of dance

The highlighted definition above has seen small bands and local pubs lose out to beauracracy, red tape and high fees.

I propose that you repeal the definition of  "The provision of regulated entertainment" from licensable activities.

Why is this idea important?

Repeal the Licensing Act 2003. Or, as a bare minimum, remove "the provision of regulated entertainment" from the licensable activities definition.

The Act defines "licensable activities" as:

  • the retail sale of alcohol,
  • the supply of alcohol in clubs,
  • the provision of late night refreshment, and
  • the provision of regulated entertainment

In turn, "regulated entertainment" is defined as:

  • a performance of a play,
  • an exhibition of a film,
  • an indoor sporting event,
  • a boxing or wrestling entertainment (both indoors and outdoors),
  • a performance of live music,
  • any playing of recorded music, or
  • a performance of dance

The highlighted definition above has seen small bands and local pubs lose out to beauracracy, red tape and high fees.

I propose that you repeal the definition of  "The provision of regulated entertainment" from licensable activities.

Smoking laws

The anti smoking laws are draconian and should be relaxed. In other european countries witb smoking bans there is a much more flexible approach to the law.

– Bars and clubs should be able to designate themselves as smoking venues providing it is clearly marked outside.

– Bars and Clubs should be able to designate a smoking room inside (in an otherwise non smoking venue)

This would allow both smokers and non smokers to have the choice that they want. Similar schemes operate in one way or another in France Spain and the Netherlands

Why is this idea important?

The anti smoking laws are draconian and should be relaxed. In other european countries witb smoking bans there is a much more flexible approach to the law.

– Bars and clubs should be able to designate themselves as smoking venues providing it is clearly marked outside.

– Bars and Clubs should be able to designate a smoking room inside (in an otherwise non smoking venue)

This would allow both smokers and non smokers to have the choice that they want. Similar schemes operate in one way or another in France Spain and the Netherlands