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BII Annual Lunch - judging Licensee of the Year

On 16/05/13 by Brigid Simmonds (Chief Executive)

It was all the more special to attend the BII Annual Lunch this year, as I had been asked to be a judge for the final six candidates for the Licensee of the Year Award. My role on a panel, with the previous year’s winner Madhis Neghabian and Kate Oppenheim (the new Editor of BII Business) was to ask questions about social responsibility. It was a very heartening experience. So many of the six shortlisted licensees really did take their social responsibility seriously. They knew about unit awareness, reducing the strength of house wines and 2.8% beers. They looked after their customers and cared about their welfare. Ashley and Kelly McCarthy of Ye Old Sun Inn in Colton, near York were worthy winners this year.

Tim Hulme, the new CEO of the British Institute of Innkeeping gave a passionate and inspiring speech. He talked about the importance of being an awarding body as opposed to an industry policeman. The BII is keen to encourage development, help fill the skills gap and keep looking for the best in class to be our publicans of the future.

Tim is clearly interested in partnership. BII and BBPA have already met for half a day with our senior teams to discuss how we can work together. He is keen to work with other partners to give a collective voice – Springboard, ALMR, the Institute of Hospitality.

Last year they had 3,000 calls for advice to members. Tim hopes that the promised research for the statutory code consultation really will be independent. He wants membership of the BII to be a benchmark for quality, and promised to be part of a social revolution with clear standards of accountability, leadership, openness, sincerity and integrity. BII membership must offer a competitive edge. It was as ever a very special occasion and I am keen that we all support BII as our professional body for the future.


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