Monthly Archives: March 2013

Pubwatch. Are you in or are you alone?

Pubwatch. Are you in or are you alone?

I am pleased to announce that I have recently been asked by National Pubwatch to be their Regional Representative for the East Midlands, a position that I have proudly accepted.

Over the years I have assisted in setting up many Pubwatch schemes and have chaired more schemes than I can remember. It goes without saying therefore that I firmly believe in Pubwatch and all the benefits Pubwatch has to offer and look forward to this voluntary role to help the industry.

I wonder though how many pubs are not part of a Pubwatch scheme. Are you a member of a scheme? If not why not?

A Pubwatch scheme is run by licensees for licensees to assist in reducing crime and disorder in your area. It’s not just about banning people though. It can be much more and how much more depends on what you and your fellow licensees want from your Pubwatch scheme. Some Pubwatches invite guest speakers, some discuss local issues, some fundraise. There’s no set criteria. The aim of launching a scheme is to reduce alcohol related crime and disorder in an area by building a positive relationship between the licensed trade, local authority and the police.

Since I first got involved in a Pubwatch scheme things have changed greatly. What started as a simple list of names now sees Pubwatches online and schemes joined to neighbouring Pubwatches to try and prevent trouble makers migrating. Pubwatch Online is also now available via a mobile phone so you can access your schemes account wherever you are.

National Pubwatch is a voluntary organisation set up to support existing pubwatches and encourage the creation of new pubwatch schemes with the aim of achieving a safer social drinking environment in all licensed premises throughout the UK. They provide assistance and guidance both for people seeking to set up a new scheme and to existing schemes.

I am looking forward to assisting Pubwatches in the East Midlands in my role as the regional representative. If you are based in the East Midlands I would be only too happy to talk to you. If you are based anywhere else contact National Pubwatch for details of your regional representative.

National Pubwatch is a recognised scheme supported by the Home Office. Visit for further details about National Pubwatch.


Freeze Beer Duty To Save 5,000 Over Jobs, 10,000 by 2014/15 (from the BBPA)

Monday, 4th March 2013

Budget 2013 – new report makes compelling case for beer duty freeze

•           Beer duty freeze would raise Government revenues overall

•           10,000 jobs protected up to 2015, mostly in pubs

•           Action needed now, says BBPA Chief Executive

A clear and compelling case has been made for a freeze in the tax on beer, in a new report published today by a leading industry trade body. In ‘Beer, Pubs & the Budget 2013’, the British Beer & Pub Association says that ending the Government’s controversial and unpopular beer duty ‘escalator’ in the March Budget would save thousands of jobs – without ANY overall loss of revenue to the Treasury.

If the Government goes ahead with plans to raise the tax on beer by five per cent in the Budget, this will bring the rise in Beer Tax to a staggering 50 per cent over the past five years. The policy is having a damaging effect on jobs in Britain’s pubs, says the BBPA, where 70 per cent of drinks’ sales are beer – the vast majority brewed here in Britain.  Research in the report says that if beer duty were frozen in the Budget, this would save over 5,000 jobs, increasing to nearly 10,000 by 2014/15 – mostly jobs for younger people in pubs.

The report also finds that far from raising more in taxes, the policy is failing to bring in additional revenues. Leading researchers Oxford Economics estimate that despite a slight drop in beer duty revenues, a tax freeze would raise an additional £5 million in revenue across the whole tax base, mainly through a significant boost to employment tax revenues, and avoiding social security payments from reduced employment in pubs.  In contrast, even the Treasury’s own current forecasts show that less will be raised from beer duty in 2013/14 compared with the previous year – yet further tax hikes are planned.

The report shows that beer taxes in Britain have now reached unprecedented levels. Beer Tax is higher than in any other EU country bar Finland, and is now 13 times higher than in Germany. British Brewers now pay an astonishing 50 per cent of their turnover in beer duty, damaging growth and investment in this key, British-made product.  UK beer drinkers now pay 40 per cent of the beer tax across the EU, but only consume 13% of its beer.

BBPA Chief Executive, Brigid Simmonds comments:

“Far from hitting the bottom line, a duty freeze would raise revenues, protect thousands of jobs, allow us to create yet more jobs and help one of our greatest national assets – our network of much-loved British pubs, still struggling in difficult economic times. I hope this compelling analysis will persuade the Government that now is the time for change.”


For further information please contact:

David Wilson: Public Affairs Director Tel: 020 7627 9151

Neil Williams, Head of Media Tel: (020) 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779

Gareth Barrett, Public Affairs Officer Tel: (020) 7627 9154

Note to editors:

Other positive policies for beer and pubs in the report:

  • Seriously consider the opportunity of reducing VAT for food and drink in the hospitality sector which could generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs over the next few years
  • No new costly and disproportionate regulation such as fiscal marks or supply chain legislation
  • Consider reducing Machines Games Duty to 15 per cent to more accurately reflect the cost of the new regime to the pub trade
  • Extend Small Business Rate Relief to the end of the current Parliament [The BBPA also supports the reintroduction of ‘Section 20c’ to allow pubs reductions in their business rates if their turnover is down].