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The future of amusement machines – a day at the Autumn Coin-op Show

On 06/11/17 by Philippa Borrowman (Policy and Information Officer)

The amusement machines industry is relatively new to me, apart from the familiar sight of a fruit machine in the corner of my local pub. However, a day at the Autumn Coin-Op Show demonstrated that the world of these machines is much larger than I had originally thought.

Statistics show that the number of Category C machines being sold has significantly fallen, with only 13,000 units being sold in 2015 in comparison to 46,000 in 2005. However, manufacturers are still developing ways in which their machines can appeal to a new demographic of pubgoers.

At the BBPA, along with developers of amusement machines, we know how important these machines can be for the income of pubs. Whilst profits, along with the number of amusement machines being sold, has fallen, the Coin-Op Show showed me the many ways in which the amusement machine industry is working towards creating new ways to appeal to the public.

One of the biggest obstacles for the sector has been the significant increase in contactless payments in pubs, with Barclaycard research suggesting that contactless payment in the pub and bar sector had risen by 92 per cent between September 2015 and January 2016. Currently tap and go payments are illegal to use on amusement machines. However, many companies discussed the use of tokens, whereby customers pay by card and receive pay-outs through tokens, which they can either exchange for money, or exchange for drinks and other products in the pub.

Speaking to manufacturers showed there are a number of technical advancements which are revolutionising this industry. Not only is the development of cashless machines vital in order to protect the trade, but the significant improvement of digital machines, as opposed to analogue machines such as the more traditional fruit machine, has helped to ‘future-proof’ the industry.

The ability to store multiple games on a digital machine at any given time is vital in order to give consumers a choice of game, and appeal to a broad demographic. In addition, manufacturers are able to access machines online, whether it be to update the software or fix any problems. Previously, faulty Category C machines would more often require repairs by a technician, which was both costly and time-consuming.

Some developers have taken things one step further. One company has developed a mobile app where they can track every machine they own in the country, and see statistics such as when it was last played, which games are most popular or repair any faults online via the software.

Whilst a number of large manufacturers are still producing the classic analogue machines, suggesting that these machines were still profitable, the large majority of developers at the show noted that a move towards digital amusement machines is vital in order to future-proof the industry.

In addition, they suggested that amusement machines were a vital part of the technology sector, through providing jobs to games developers, as well as continuously finding new ways to develop high-definition, state-of-the-art amusement machines.

Whilst the improvement in technology is vital to protect this industry, the BBPA has been campaigning on other key issues which can further protect the industry for the future. Amusement machines are a vital part of the pub sector, both for the profit of the pub itself, as well as providing jobs in the technology sector.

Through an increase in Category C stakes to £2, and a prize to £150, the BBPA believes that this will help to ‘future-proof’ the industry, whilst not impacting negatively on social responsibility or problem gambling.

However, after a long wait for the outcome of the government’s triennial consultation, we were disappointed to hear that the Government isn’t currently proposing to increase stakes and prizes in pub machines.

The BBPA will continue to campaign for an increase in stake and prize, and will respond to the Government’s latest consultation. We hope that with such an increase, the amusement industry can continue to provide an income vitally important to keep many pubs, particularly many community locals, viable.

Philippa Borrowman
Policy and Information Officer


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A British Beer export strategy for the next five years

On 23/10/17 by Brigid Simmonds (Chief Executive)

Last week, we launched our new export strategy for British beer for the next five years. It was a real pleasure to be hosted at Fullers Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, and to welcome George Eustice, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Brewing is a very British industry, over 80% of the beer we drink here is brewed here, we contribute over £23 billion to the UK economy, but pay £13 billion in tax and we support nearly 900,000 jobs. Beer exports have always been important but in the current economic uncertainty, we also see an even greater opportunity for exports which clearly have the capacity to grow.

Beer exports were worth £583 million in 2016, up 16 per cent on the previous year, and we export beer to over 100 countries. By value, the largest national market is the USA, with the EU accounting for 60 per cent of the market by volume. We believe that working with the Government, not only can we continue to grow in EU markets but in markets all over the world.

Our new strategy from 2013 builds on the success of our existing, three-year Beer and Cider Action Plan. We have now announced an ambitious goal of achieving £100 million growth over the next five years, using 2016 as the base. This growth is achievable, but will require hard work and commitment from us and our members to build a comprehensive set of tools that we are confident will help us reach our target. The plan has a number of key elements:

• We will support both new and existing exporters, helping to provide the information they need to succeed abroad. To do this, we are rebuilding our website and adding new functionality, including an Export Hub. It will contain country profiles of key markets and include economic trends, trade data, demographics and market access issues. Importantly, it will also serve as the virtual window into the UK domestic offer for importers and wholesalers the world over.

• Our new Brand Showcase, will highlight great British brewers and promote their flagship brands to the world – helping to match buyers and sellers, worldwide. As if that were not enough, we will also be providing suggestions for pairing beer with food, which is a great way to show the world what British food and drink can do.

• Our strategy also aims at quality assurance and sustainable growth. We have compiled a Best Practice document for exporting. We want to ensure that from grain to glass, no matter where you consume it, a British beer tastes just as the brewer intended.

• We will again collaborate with Government – DEFRA, DIT and the Foreign Office – to maximise our impact abroad. We have worked with brewers to identify the top five trade shows over the next two years where, with some help from government, we think have the potential to win business abroad. The Pub Roadshow Concept, as we’re calling it, would create a reusable stage that would stand out, create buzz in a crowded venue, and market the UK Food & Drink sector. In exchange for Government help to secure funding, we would commit ourselves to attending these trade shows for the next two years.

There are other ways of working with Government. We will work on a forward programme of inbound/outbound missions, building on the success of a recent Canadian mission. With DEFRA’s Hospitality Toolkit, building on BBPA materials, we will help to provide embassies across the world with guides on how to serve British beer, style guides, and beer/food paring suggestions. We will continue to be an active participant in the dialogue over Free Trade Agreements and what market access barriers the sector encounters, the world over.

Finally, domestic regulation and taxation must remain competitive. We can only afford to invest in export growth if the UK market is competitive relative to our neighbours, particularly in these uncertain times. We need to create a climate that incentivises growth for all our brewers.

It will not therefore surprise you that we are calling on the Government to cut beer duty, after the 3.9 per cent increase we have already had this year, which cost the industry over £130 million. We also want the pub-specific rate relief granted in the March Budget for a further year.

A big thank you to Simon Emeny, Richard Fuller and the whole team at the brewery for hosting the launch of our export strategy last week, and to George Eustice for showing such support.

Brigid Simmonds
Chief Executive


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Beer’s Soft Power

On 20/10/17 by Jane Peyton (instigator of Beer Day Britain, author of several books including 'Beer o'Clock' and current Beer Sommelier of the Year. )

Beer is the world’s favourite alcoholic drink, a lingua franca that connects people across the globe who may have nothing else in common but their love of the fermented cereal gift from nature called beer.

I experienced the soft power of beer recently in Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia. I was invited by the British Embassy to participate in a beer festival they organised to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Britain’s recognition of Slovenia’s independence from former Yugoslavia. The UK Department of Trade & Industry had encouraged breweries to send beer and representatives to Ljubljana to meet importers and to introduce locals to British beer. My role was to host a beer tasting tutorial and deliver a seminar about British beer history and contemporary brewing.

Slovenia has a burgeoning independent brewing scene and, like so many other countries where the dominant beer is pilsner brewed by multi-nationals, these start-ups are producing styles such as vibrant IPAs and powerful imperial stouts – flavour and ABV are emblematic.

The beer festival was well attended by women and men, including importers, intrigued to discover new brands and styles of beer. I spoke to dozens of locals and the overwhelming impression I had was how enthusiastic they were about the festival, the beer they had tasted and the variety of styles. They also told me how much they wanted to visit Britain, go to pubs and drink more British beer. I chatted with several of the British brewers and sales reps who attended the festival and they said they had met importers keen to distribute their beers. Tiny Rebel export manager, Moussa Clark, commented ‘Nothing beats coming to visit, getting to know the market, making connections. Having a laugh and a drink is a great pre-cursor to doing business.’

Congratulations and na zdravje to Dunja Cvek at the British Embassy in Slovenia and to Milan Dragutinovic, owner of production company Magna Carta, for co-producing an excellent event that delivered a weekend of beery fun and happiness, and also enabled a number of British brewers to increase exports to Slovenia.

I left the country thinking how powerful beer is in building relationships both business and personal, and what potential it has in encouraging tourism into the UK. It was a terrific experience to be Madame Am-beer-ssador for a weekend and to eulogise about Britain’s beer and pubs. Hura za pivo !

Jane Peyton
instigator of Beer Day Britain, author of several books including 'Beer o'Clock' and current Beer Sommelier of the Year.


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Food waste reduction – how simple environmental measures can lead to dramatic financial gains

On 18/10/17 by Philippa Borrowman (Policy and Information Officer)

New research conducted as part of the Manchester Metropolitan University and Robinsons Greener Retailing Project has demonstrated the huge potential financial savings for pubs that reduce their food waste.

Case studies of three Robinsons pubs: The Harrington Arms, The Ship Inn and the Airport, demonstrated the potential savings which pubs can make over just a four-week period, with all three reporting annual estimated savings of thousands of pounds.

Using the ‘Your Business is Food’ calculator tool developed by Manchester Met, these pubs were able to monitor the types of food which were being wasted by separating food waste into three categories – plate waste, prep waste and spoilage. This allowed the pubs to monitor, measure and improve in the areas which were losing them money.
The Ship Inn, a tenanted pub in Roose, reported an annual estimated saving of £3,186. Similarly, The Airport managed house, near Manchester Airport, estimated savings amounting to an astounding £4,361, and The Harrington Arms, in Gawsworth, is expected to save around £3,381.

The Ship Inn began offering smaller portion sizes to customers and making garnishes optional which led to a reduction of two thirds in plate waste. The Airport now offers coleslaw and sauces rather than automatically giving them. This resulted in the pub using only one tub of coleslaw a day instead of eight. The Harrington Arms, which had many issues with large amounts of prep waste, began using peelers rather than knives when preparing fresh vegetables, as well as opting for buying pre-prepped vegetables. This reduced prep waste by almost a third.

The Courtauld 2025 initiative, which the BBPA is committed to supporting, aims to reduce food and drink waste by 20 percent by the year 2025. Reducing food waste is both beneficial for the environment as well as being profitable and good for business.

All three Robinsons operators discussed the ease of implementing food waste measures, and all were astonished by the ability to make large savings without taking up too much of the time or energy of their staff.

The BBPA is calling on other members to help meet the commitments of the Courtauld 2025 initiative. Through small and easy measures, your business can help to protect the environment, whilst making huge savings.

The ‘Your Business is Food’ campaign provides simple tools for you to use to guide you in tracking the amount of food you throw away. The campaign offers tracking sheets and calculators, quick start guides and checklists all of which can be found here
For more information go to

Philippa Borrowman
Policy and Information Officer


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The impact of new planning laws

On 01/08/17 by Brigid Simmonds (Chief Executive)

I have recently been clearing through old files, some of which related to my time as Chief Executive of Business in Sport & Leisure. When doing so, I came across a consultation issued by the Department of Transport, Local Government & the Regions (DTLR) published in 2002, on possible changes to the Use Classes Order.

It included proposals to split Use Class A3 into three, due to the growth of what they privately described as ‘vertical drinking establishments’ and the ability of restaurants to become pubs without requiring planning permission.

The result was the creation of the new A4 Class for ‘Drinking Establishments’ (including pubs), which could become restaurants without requiring planning permission. However, the old A3 use (restaurants and café’) could not do this in reverse. The ability for both A3 and A4 to change into shops or offices without planning permission, was retained. A5 became takeaway premises.

It is perhaps a truism that the market moves much faster than most legislation! I remember well discussions with officials at the same Department and their view that it would be a good idea to block the development of multiplex cinemas! Fast forward fifteen years and the same might also be said of pubs.

The smoking ban has changed the pub market so much. Instead of concerns about wet-led pubs, we now serve a billion meals a year and the competition is often with casual dining. Instead of worrying about the growth of ‘vertical drinking establishments’, many community pubs have closed as consumer demand has fallen.

Yes, we have some very successful wet-led pubs, often selling a much wider range and choice of beers, but decreased footfall means that some pubs are no longer viable.

In places where the demand for more housing is huge alongside the growing trend for smaller local supermarkets, some have argued that it is just too easy to close a pub and sell it for an alternative use. Many others would argue that fighting the market is unhelpful, and could create a blight of closed, uneconomic pubs (which already exist in some areas), which need to find an alternative use. I am not sure that increasing costs for pubs somehow makes them perform better!

The introduction of the Asset of Community Value (ACV) legislation in 2012 offered some protection for pubs and an ability for the local community to buy the pub and often run it themselves. Some fifty percent of all assets covered by this legislation are pubs. However, many pub owners had real concerns about how the legislation was being used. The evidence ‘test’ to list a pub as an ACV seemed open to little challenge and many owners received letters from their local authority saying ‘congratulations’ when they had no intention of selling the pub for any other use.

An unintended consequence of ACV listing has been the effect on the value of the property. In some cases it was seen by banks as a reason to charge more for loans. In 2015, the legislation was further strengthened by a requirement for pubs which were ACVs to apply for planning permission for a change of use. Again, a restriction in flexibility was not welcomed by many and was particularly hard on the 18,000 pubs owned by individuals, particularly if the pub was their only major asset.

Now, we have another change through the Neighbourhood Planning Act, which received Royal Assent on 27th April, as part of the ‘wash-up’ stage of the last Parliament. The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) managed to publish Secondary Legislation which comes into effect on 23rd May.

I must admit that I was surprised to find how complicated planning law had become. When the first change was made to the A3 Use Class Order in 2005, the General Permitted Development Rights which underpinned this were relatively simple. Now, they run to some 150 pages. As part of these complicated powers, some local authorities, namely the London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Southwark, have also made use of what are called Article 4 Directions.

In these boroughs, all pubs are required to apply for planning permission even for minor alterations. So, if you wish to paint the outside of the pub or put up a new fence, you need planning permission. This may protect the status of the pub, but it also increases their costs. Under the new regulations of the Neighbourhood Planning Act, these Article 4 Directions remain in place, but BBPA will be writing to both Authorities asking them to review their use in the light of the change in legislation.

So where does this leave pubs now? Whilst BBPA and our members remain concerned that there is a loss of planning flexibility for pubs, the solution which DCLG officials worked on (with us), will hopefully bring clarity and a better understanding for all.

An amendment which was initially rejected in the Commons, but passed in the Lords, created what is called a ‘Sui Generis’ (in a class of its own) for pubs. We had concerns however, that since many pubs are food-led, the distinction between the A4 use class (drinking establishments) and A3 (restaurants and cafés) is blurred. If the pub increased its food offer, would that mean that it had to apply for planning permission?

The solution eventually agreed upon, is much better. The legislation does not introduce a new use class. Instead it removes the rights of A4 drinking establishments (including pubs) to change their use to shops or full restaurants without planning permission, or indeed to be demolished. It does however, create a new development right for pubs (A4) to expand their food offer beyond what might be considered ancillary, without planning permission and there is no requirement to apply for planning permission for minor alterations. Under the legislation, the requirement for pubs covered by ACVs to apply for planning permission and the complicated 56-day notice period is also removed.

There are some technical transitional arrangements to consider, but in essence, all the changes come into force on 23rd May. BBPA will be writing to any local authority which has an Article 4 Direction to ask them to re-consider (there is a requirement to review such Directions under the legislation, although with no prescribed timetable). We will also be writing to the Mayor of London, who in a recent consultation on the Night Time economy has suggested that London Authorities consider using Article 4 Directions.

We will be pointing out that this suggestion has been overtaken by the new legislation and that asking pubs to apply for planning permission for minor alterations is costly and adds bureaucracy and red tape. Finally, CAMRA has agreed that it will no longer provide support for the local listing of pubs as ACVs, unless there is a real concern that a particular pub is going to be sold for alternative use.

What will be the long-term impact on the market? All pubs will require planning permission for change of use or demolition. By its own admission however, the Government say that 90 per cent of pubs require planning permission for either of these things anyway. The less than ideal use of ACVs as an artificial mechanism will cease. Whilst there is some loss of flexibility as against the casual dining market, a cleaner, clearer protection for pubs, with local engagement of communities where appropriate, is acceptable to all.

(A version of the article first appeared in M&C Report)

Brigid Simmonds
Chief Executive


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Guest blog post: International hub to develop barley’s full potential as global crop

On 26/04/17

Colin West, Chair of the International Barley Hub writes:

Assured supplies of safe, high quality, and affordable barley are the outcome of decades of consistent research and development: the future depends on continued and upgraded research efforts to give farmers profitable varieties appropriate to different markets, by combatting issues arising from the relatively narrow gene pool of current varieties and by radically shortening development times for new varieties.

The James Hutton Institute - the world-leading research centre based in Scotland - is working to endow the new International Barley Hub with its expertise by collaborating with industry and other academic bodies to establish a unique platform for the translation of barley research into commercial benefits for the entire brewing, distilling and food value chain, with very important implications for food security worldwide.

The initiative aims to develop a commercially-focused innovation centre, which would also serve as a training and development ground for barley research skills at an international level. It builds on the critical mass available at the James Hutton Institute and the co-located barley group from the University of Dundee, which together are already considered a world-leading barley research cluster, and the concentration of growers, maltsters, distillers and processors in the vicinity. The James Hutton Institute has a long history of collaborating with the worldwide barley community.

Barley remains a staple food crop in many parts of the world, and efforts are being made to capitalise on its hardiness and adaptability, especially in developing countries. Likewise, its nutritional benefits are of increasing interest to food and ingredient producers in developed countries.

For brewing, the benefits of research can be seen in the current availability of high quality malting barleys, but there continues to be a need to increase yields, improve disease resistance, work on quality issues, improve processability, adapt to global climate trends – amongst other things! These improvements are important in the UK, but also across the globe in other malting barley regions.

The Barley Hub is one of over 50 projects submitted for UK government funding by Tayside Cities Deal: a decision is anticipated later this year. In the interim, work has commenced to build the governance structure of the Hub and to start activities which are not dependent on the new building.

For more information about the International Barley Hub project, please visit the Barley Hub website, or contact Colin West directly on


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Are millennials to thank for increasing trade in the leisure sector?

On 03/04/17

Simon Mydlowski, leisure and hospitality partner at Gordons, examines whether millennials are to thank for the growth in dining and drinking out.

The UK’s pub, bar and restaurant scene has constantly evolved over the years to meet changing tastes, behaviour and buying patterns.

One of the key challenges for many venues has been deciding whether to cater for all demographics or to focus on attracting key age groups with a distinct offering, and recent figures from Deloitte could influence this approach.

Data compiled by the business advisory firm shows that leisure sector spending in the fourth quarter of 2016, which includes food and drink purchases in bars, cafes, pubs and restaurants, was driven by the 18 to 34-year-old age group.

This demographic – now commonly referred to as ‘millennials’ - is playing a major role in driving growth in the leisure trade, and it is clear to see how this is occurring when looking at the evolution of the leisure sector in recent years.

Evolving tastes and offerings

There has been a clear rise in the number of boutique, artisan and alternative venues across the UK over the past few years, with café culture now firmly ingrained in Britain, and the exponential growth of craft beer destinations with unique food and drink offerings turning the tide of staying in.

The fall-out from the economic downturn was a major factor in people’s reticence to dine and drink out, but the recovering economy has had a catalytic effect on the leisure market, with the chief factor being that people simply have more disposable income.

According to Deloitte’s index, confidence among millennials is at a six-year high, which is a stark contrast with older consumers; spending on eating and drinking out has fallen by one percentage point for those aged between 35 to 54 and by two percentage points for those aged 55 or over.

Future outlook

Most indicators point towards the leisure sector continuing to embrace the trend for millennial-focused venues, with proprietors realising that this demographic is not only more likely to spend their disposable income at their venues, but also evolve into long-term customers.

Other considerations will include the potential impact of the hard Brexit and how the fall-out will affect both the pockets and spending habits of consumers, as well as the effect on supply chains and the food and drinks products served.

While many pubs, bars and restaurants will continue to aim for diversity in their offerings to ensure that all demographics and tastes are catered for, those that pay particular attention to the desires of the millennial generation may be the ones in the best position to benefit.

To contact Simon please call 01274 202514, email or visit the Gordons LLP website.


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BBPA writes to Local Alcohol Action Areas

On 15/03/17 by Jack Shepherd (Policy and Information Officer)

The Home Office has now named the 33 areas that will be participating in phase two of the Local Alcohol Action Areas (LAAA) initiative. The second phase was announced in 2016 with the introduction of the new Modern Crime Prevention Strategy and builds upon the first LAAA initiative, which saw the BBPA offer its support to the 20 areas involved. The second phase has three core aims related to reducing alcohol-related health harms, diversification of the night-time economy and preventing alcohol-related crime and disorder. Regarding the latter, participating areas will be required to address one or more of a core set of issues including:

• How can local areas improve the collection, sharing and use of data between A&E Departments, local authorities and the police?
• How can local authorities, the police and businesses ensure the safe movement of people in the night time economy?
• How can local areas expand their use of safe spaces?
• How can local authorities, the police and business work together to help prevent the sale of alcohol to drunks in both the off- and on-trades?
• How can local authorities, the police and business work together to help design out crime?

The participating areas will be aided by the Home Office with a support manager and will have access to expertise from elsewhere in central Government. Support will also come from members of the Local Alcohol Partnerships Group, which is facilitated by the Portman Group and in which the BBPA is a participant. Other members include DrinkAware and local partnership initiatives such as National Pubwatch, Best Bar None, Purple Flag, Street Pastors and Community Alcohol Partnerships. The BBPA has long supported such initiatives.

The launch of the first phase was broadly welcomed by the trade but some initial uncertainty had developed around the exact role of business throughout the process. This time there is no uncertainty and the launch of the second phase is undoubtedly a testament to the success of phase one, which saw businesses work closely with local authorities and police in order to provide effective local solutions for alcohol-related issues. This kind of close partnership working has been consistently supported by the BBPA and its members. It is encouraging that businesses are increasingly identified as key stakeholders when addressing local alcohol-related issues. The local knowledge that businesses possess, alongside their willingness to create a safe and responsible environment, is vital and they are progressively recognised, not as the cause of the problem, but as the solution.

With this in mind, an official BBPA offer of support has now been sent to the participating areas to outline a number of ways in which the Association and its members can help to make a difference at local level with targeted and coordinated solutions. The offer of support includes assistance in utilising the BBPA’s campaign on serving drunks, which was initiated as a commitment to the Home Office and its Modern Crime Prevention Strategy, and is a central focus for many of the participating areas. The offer also highlights the BBPA’s unit awareness campaign and age verification materials, as well as the vast range of up-to-date guidance that the BBPA provides to assist licensees with all aspects of running a pub. Finally, it encourages stakeholders in participating areas to engage with BBPA members at a local level.

It is promising that Government now recognises the strength of the local partnership approach in tackling alcohol related issues. The BBPA and its members look forward to working with the participating areas in the near future.

Jack Shepherd
Policy and Information Officer


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National Pubwatch conference 2017

On 03/03/17 by Jim Cathcart (Policy Manager - Pub Operations)

Over two hundred delegates from the trade, police and other stakeholders gathered in Reading for the 14th National Pubwatch conference. For those not in the know, National Pubwatch is the body that supports existing pubwatches, provides guidance and assists in setting up new watches. Pubwatches themselves are voluntary groups set up by licensees working together to promote a safe drinking environment, in partnership with the police and licencing authorities.

This year’s conference was special in that 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of National Pubwatch, and the organisation has been key in making licensed premises and the overall night-time environment safer for customers and businesses alike over the last two decades, as the key partnership scheme for pubs. The full story can be found in the 20th anniversary magazine here

This year’s conference clearly showed that National Pubwatch was determined not to rest on its laurels. Following the welcome from National Pubwatch Chairman Steve Baker, Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Francis Habgood outlined the force’s experiences in partnership working with licensed premises and the wider impact of the late night sector. He talked about the key role licensed premises have in ensuring vulnerable people (such as those left alone during a night out, or have had too much to drink) are kept safe in the night time economy – a theme followed up by police licensing chief ACC Rachael Kearton who also flagged vulnerability as a key priority going forward for the police, who will want to see the trade taking further steps in this area.

The trade view came from the BBPA’s very own Andy Tighe, who highlighted the social, economic and employment benefits of the UK’s vibrant pub sector, the current challenges faced, and the work done by industry over recent years, and continues to do, to tackle alcohol-related harm and promote responsible retailing and local partnerships . Andy also showcased the current initiative from the BBPA aimed at raising awareness on the law around serving and buying drinks for those who are drunk, in partnership with National Pubwatch and Drinkaware - include social media resources and point of sale material which can be found downloaded free of charge here

Andy’s presentation can be found here

This was followed by annual awards for outstanding individuals who have supported pubwatches across the country. The day continued with the break-out sessions, a hallmark of National Pubwatch conferences that really allows delegates to get close to current issues with key speakers and plenty of opportunity for questions, answers and debates. Stephen Walsh QC shone a light on the complex but vital subject of data protection. Barrister Gary Grant updated the conference on recent licencing developments all pub operators should be aware of, with key analysis of new and upcoming changes to the licencing regime.

The second break-out session from PC Matt Moss and licensee Gemma Sands focused on partnership working in Portsmouth between the trade and police, and the effect this has had on the crime rate in the night-time economy which has plummeted in recent years. Key insights included the use of alerts and bans to change the behaviour of customers attempting to use or bring drugs or legal highs into venues and discourage this by socially isolating the individuals concerned – sending a message that drugs would not be tolerated. Pubwatch stalwarts Michael Kheng, Tim Robson and Steve Evans gave an overview of Challenge 21, serving to drunks - which included new National Pubwatch training films, with the serving drunks film funded by BBPA, and freely available here and conflict management.

As it has done for the past fourteen years, the National Pubwatch conference provided in-depth discussion sessions with leading experts, a chance for licensees to meet National Pubwatch representatives and ask questions on the day-to-day practicalities of running a pubwatch, and a forum for the trade, police, local authorities and others to network on common issues. The unique nature and importance of the conference was highlighted yet again in its 20th year. The BBPA has been a supporter and promoter of pubwatches and National Pubwatch for a number of years, and we urge members to support National Pubwatch and promote the scheme to their lessees, tenants and managers.

Jim Cathcart
Policy Manager - Pub Operations


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