Posts Tagged ‘pubs’

Letter from Wales: Worried about public service cuts? Never mind, Carwyn’s splashing taxpayer cash on pubs instead

23/12/2013, 09:00:02 PM

by Julian Ruck

You think I’m joking?

According to the Wales Eye investigative website (fronted by former BBC Wales reporter and presenter Phil Parry) Carwyn’s government dished out £700,000 of taxpayers’ hard earned to an up-market boozer, The Cross Foxes, in Dolgellau Gwynedd – which naturally went to the wall. The Welsh government tends to prioritise businesses that are likely to fail.

As if this isn’t bad enough, Carwyn’s Welsh Labour also gave £250,000 of taxpayers’ money to the Fire Island pub in Westgate Street Cardiff while another £189,000 was given to Jolyons, a ‘boutique’ boozer on the city’s Cathedral Road – funnily enough I had a glass or two of wine in Jolyons a couple of months ago. No wonder the prices were top drawer, Carwyn and his Crony Cabinet of Tafia incompetence trying to screw the Welsh again!

I bet it’s freebies all round every time they go in there.

The insanity of it all however doesn’t end here. If you remember my column of a few weeks ago, Carwyn and his team druid has blown £10m on nonsensical health initiatives trying to get the Welsh to stop boozing and scoffing!

Of course the real outrage is the fact that Carwyn is bunging the bucks into wealthy areas of Wales instead of seeing to the areas that actually need it, like the Welsh valleys. For example Wales Eye reminds us that ‘ The Welsh Government spent a further £356,000 persuading food manufacturer Halo to relocate to Newport, one of the wealthiest parts of Wales, when it was formerly in Tywyn, Gwynedd, one of the poorest.’


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Government pubs report fails to stand up for the little guy

30/11/2011, 02:07:29 PM

by Toby Perkins

Pubs are businesses at the heart of their communities; so it is a cause for great concern that pubs are now shutting at the alarming rate of 25 a week, and the government is failing to live up to its promises to take action to support this great British institution.

The pub sector is also an area which starkly illustrates the difference between the active, intelligent government working in partnership with business which Labour stands for, and the ‘government getting out of the way’ approach, favoured by Osborne, Cable et al.

The business, innovation and skills select committee has investigated in detail the relationship between the pub companies (or PubCos) – the branded chains of pubs which account for the majority of pubs in the UK – and their tenants. It has produced three reports on the subject over the past three years.

Most significantly, they found an unfair relationship between the huge companies which dominate the market and the small business owners who run individual pubs, alongside restrictive practices preventing smaller breweries from accessing huge swathes of the trade.

This week, after months of dither and delay, the government finally responded to the long-standing call for a fairer relationship between pubs and their owners. Sadly, it is a case of too little too late, and comes up short of the action needed.

The previous Labour government gave the industry a year to reform itself, putting in place a voluntary code, and made it clear that a statutory code would be put in place if the industry did not get its act together.


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A pub is more than a place to drink

14/04/2011, 07:45:46 AM

by Peter Watt

I love the pub; going for a pint has been a Watt family thing as long as I can remember. I look back and smile when think about going for my first pint with my Dad at The Tatnam pub in Poole. It was a special rite of passage. One that I repeated with my own son only last year. The Tatnam was our local family pub where we went at Christmas and special occasions. It was where, over the years, my Dad went and met a few “bar mates”.  In fact, it was where over the years we all gathered whenever we got together as a family.  And it was where we continued to take my Dad over the months when he was dying. His last pint there was a few days before he died. Going with him was a ritual that we all valued, a comfort at a terrible time. After he died, we again all went there, and there was a picture of him behind the bar for months.

The Tatnam closed last year and is now a supermarket.

Of course, pubs are closing all over the country.  This year, although the rate of closures has slowed, they are still closing at a rate of 25 per week. At the end of 2010 there were 1300 fewer pubs than at the beginning of the year, with a loss of 13,000 jobs. We all know why this is happening, cheap supermarket booze, the smoking ban and lifestyle changes. Tax on alcohol has been steadily rising with the alcohol duty escalator raising duty by 2% above inflation. The recent budget added about 4p to the price of a pint of beer – 5p in my local. There are, of course, some sound public policy reasons for the smoking ban and alcohol duty rises. But there is also no doubting the heavy price being paid by our pubs. (more…)

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