Minister launches new pubco review

A LACK of appetite to heap more regulation on business is hampering the progress of pubco reform.
Ann McKechin, MP for Glasgow North and a member of the Select Committee for Business Innovation and Skills, offered this view after the pubcos were given more time by the government to make good on a self-regulation deal agreed at the start of the year.
Jo Swinson, the new minister for employment relations and consumer affairs, told the industry it had until November 23 to convince the government that progress is being made in a statement to the House of Commons last week.
It came after business secretary Vince Cable admitted to MPs on the BIS Committee that he was “disappointed” that key aspects of self-regulation – including updating the code of practice that underpins the pubco-tenant relationship – had still to occur. A new pub advisory service that the industry pledged to set up has also yet to come on stream.
McKechin said news of a further review was “frustrating for pub owners, tenants and the [BIS] committee”, but suspects it’s a delaying tactic by officials.
“There’s a real pressure coming out of No.10 not to regulate – they’re hooked on this ‘red tape challenge’ and don’t want any more regulation on business,” she said.
“I don’t think there’s an appetite among officials for regulation – they’re close to the [pubco] industry in viewpoint.”