Campaign for Pubs
The Campaign for Pubs is a new campaign that has been launched this week, aimed at promoting, supporting and protecting pubs. Here's an extract from the full press release, with a comment from me below.
A new national grassroots campaign for pubs has been launched, with a clear mission to campaign to promote, support and protect pubs – and to be a real voice for pubs and all who love and value them.
The Campaign for Pubs (on Twitter @campaignforpubs) has been established by a group of prominent licensees, leading pub campaigners, small brewers and pub lovers including academics, musicians and actors. The Campaign for Pubs is a dynamic mass membership group open to all who love and care about pubs, and unlike any other sector organisation it unites publicans, pub campaigners, customers and suppliers, including some of the UK’s leading smaller brewers.
The Campaign for Pubs exists to provide a #realvoiceforpubs and to campaign for a better, freer and fairer, more sustainable pub sector. The Campaign wishes to see more pubs in the hands of those who genuinely care about them, thus seeing them better placed to serve the needs of local communities and with better protection against cynical closure and predatory property development. The Campaign for Pubs mission statement lays out this powerful vision.
The Campaign for Pubs costs £25 a year to join, or £40 for a couple. Members will become part of a national network of those who care about pubs and their future, and their subscription will fund campaigning work on key issues.
The Campaign for Pubs has been formed partly in response to the urgent need for a powerful voice for thousands of pubs currently facing an existential threat due to the enforced closures resulting from the Covid-19 outbreak. This has led to many licensees and campaigners coming together to provide a strong voice for pubs and publicans to demand change in the sector, which has seen many long-standing problems cruelly exposed and exacerbated by the current crisis, including the business model and conduct of the large pub-owning companies, the weakness of the Pubs Code and Adjudicator, the attitude of the insurance industry and a lack of sufficient recognition within tax and planning law of the vital role pubs play in their communities.
As well as publicans and pub campaigners, the Campaign for Pubs is also being supported by the UK’s dynamic small brewers, keen to see a more open, thriving, sustainable pub sector offering them far more direct access to pubs and to publicans. Leading brewery and outspoken sector campaigner Phil Saltonstall of Brass Castle is the Campaign for Pubs Brewer Coordinator. Leading licensing lawyer David Dadds and Professor Darren Lilleker of Bournemouth University have also joined the NEC as has renowned actor and musician Paul Courtney Hyu as Pub Music and Culture Champion. The Campaign for Pubs will be chaired by leading licensee campaigner, Paul Crossman with well- known pub campaigner, former MP and British Pub Confederation Greg Mulholland as Campaign Director and award-winning licensee Dawn Hopkins as Vice-Chair.
The Campaign for Pubs is a member organisation of the British Pub Confederation (the Confederation of independent organisations representing pubs and pub campaigners) and the Campaign for Pubs will administer and support the ongoing work of the Confederation to further strengthen representation for pubs and publicans.
For me personally, this has come at a great time. In the past I have been chairman of my local Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) branch. More recently, I ended my membership with them because I didn't like what the overall campaign had become.
However, over the last few weeks I had been mulling over returning to the campaign. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically exposed and contributed to the dire position many people and businesses find themselves in within the industry, least of which are pubs and publicans. It really hurts to see this and I began thinking a return to CAMRA may be of some use.
Details on this new campaign landed in my inbox earlier this week and it is much more aligned to what I want to see in today's industry. Lead by some incredibly passionate and talented people who are laser focused on the important issues our industry faces.
As of today, I am a new member of the Campaign for Pubs. I kindly ask you to consider doing the same, if you are as passionate as I am about one of Britain's most important cultures and heritages.
The web address for the campaign is https://campaignforpubs.org.uk/.