“USE them or lose them” is the message from a Solihull group campaigning for the protection of traditional pubs in our area.
The chairman of Solihull CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) Carl Wright is urging the local community to support their watering holes, following a call from MPs for the Government to do more to protect local pubs.
Last week MPs demanded a code of practice be put in place to govern the way large pub companies, known as ‘pubcos’, treat publicans and licensees.
Mr Wright told the Solihull News this week a number of pubs in the area have been hit with rent hikes and frequent change of managers, resulting in little profit for the publicans.
He added: “This is not only very unsettling for the publicans but means that drinkers may well go elsewhere and not return when the pub re opens - if it does.
“One of the main problems pubs face is where they are ‘tied houses’, that is, owned by a large pub company who have power over the rent and the beers that publicans can order and sell.
“Many of our local tied houses have reported severe rent rises and above market wholesale beer prices for which they are not allowed to shop elsewhere.”
Solihull’s MP Lorely Burt also addressed the issue in Parliament. She said: “What is different today is that the vast majority of tie pubs are not owned by breweries but by companies, whose purpose is not just to sell beer but to own properties which they have expected to accrue in value.
“Changes have come in over the years which have made it less and less attractive a business proposition, for example drinking habits, drink-drive legislation and so on.”