Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
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Pubs to have their say on how regulations are enforced

Pubs to have their say on how regulations are enforced

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 04 July 2012

The Government is urging anyone involved in running a pub, particularly a community pub, to feed in their experiences, good and bad, of dealing with local authorities and other regulators as part of the Focus on Enforcement campaign. This move has been welcomed by the British Beer and Pubs Association.

Mark Prisk, Business and Enterprise Minister, said:

“Pubs are the beating heart of our communities. They are essential for people to relax and enjoy the company of their friends in villages, towns and cities all over the UK. But pubs are businesses too and, as enterprises, they can be held back by poor enforcement of regulation.

“Dealing with the way rules for pubs are enforced can sometimes be more of a problem than the red tape itself. That’s why I’m urging anyone involved in running a pub, particularly a community pub, to visit the Focus on Enforcement website and let us know your views so that we can consider and take any necessary action.

“We know there are examples of good practice too, so we also want you to tell us on the website about the people who give really good advice and support. This is your chance to make a real difference to the way regulations are enforced.”

Brigid Simmonds OBE, Chief Executive British Beer and Pubs Association, said:

“I very much welcome this review. Pubs are subject to a large amount of regulation, and if this is coupled with over-zealous enforcement, business can suffer. I hope the review will bring forward sensible ways of reducing the burden, so hospitality businesses can grow and create much needed new jobs.”

Bob Neill, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government, said:

"Community pubs make a huge contribution to the local economy and the last thing landlords trying to grow their businesses need, is to be spending valuable time dealing with any unnecessary and expensive red-tape.

"The Government values community pubs, which is why we are helping with business rates and are giving communities the power to step in and preserve their favourite locals. This review gives all landlords the chance to give their views and I strongly encourage them to do so."

The campaign allows users to post comments anonymously if they wish to, and is also looking to hear if third parties are implying regulations that require pubs to take action when in fact the regulations do not require this.

We will also shortly be launching a Focus on Enforcement review looking at enforcement and compliance arrangements relating to coastal assets and coastal development. We’re inviting businesses and those interested in this area to begin giving feedback on the Focus on Enforcement website prior to a formal launch of the review.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the #focusenforce hashtag.

The Focus on Enforcement website, for the first time, also provides details on national regulators in one place and on regulatory functions carried out by local authorities.

Notes to editors:

Pubs, which is the fourth review theme to be launched, is now live on the Focus on Enforcement website and can be found at: The site gives individuals and businesses the opportunity to suggest areas for review of compliance and enforcement arrangements, and to provide evidence on areas ‘in focus’. Users of the website can also currently provide their feedback on their experiences of:

· running a volunteer event (until 6 July)

· enforcement and compliance arrangements relating to coastal assets and development (a formal launch of the review on this topic will take place shortly).

The focus of all these reviews is on the way regulation is delivered and compliance is achieved – whether through inspections, advice or enforcement – not about the regulations themselves. A separate initiative – Red Tape Challenge – invites the public, business and the voluntary and community sector to give their views, comments and ideas on what regulations should stay, be improved, or be scrapped altogether.Each review starts with a 5-6 week evidence-gathering phase.

In addition, the Focus on Enforcement website, for the first time, provides details on national regulators, their remits and regulatory budgets and staff resource in one place and information is also provided on regulatory functions undertaken by local authorities. (A large number of organisations play a part in securing compliance with the law. They include national regulators, local authorities, and bodies independent of Government, some of which have statutory regulatory functions. The list on the website is not exhaustive and details will continue to be added and updated).

The scope of the Review of Enforcement in relation to Pubs encompasses:Regulatory activity by national regulators and local authorities that affects the day-to-day running of pubs, particularly community pubs, including:

· How the range of regulations impacting on pubs is enforced

· The clarity of regulatory requirements, and the availability of guidance and advice

· How regulatory breaches and non-compliance are handled

· Enforcing the rules around sale of food and alcohol on the premises

· Enforcing catering and food preparation requirements

· Enforcing health and safety requirements

· The application of weights and measures

· Change of use applications, in particular for community pubs.

The scope will exclude:

· The regulations themselves

· Minimum pricing

· Issues relating to tied/freehold status of pubs

· Business rates

· Other regulatory activity that is not particular to the pubs industry, such as employment law, company law etc.

‘Regulatory activity’ in this context includes action taken by national regulators or officers of local authorities, including:

· provision of advice on compliance with the law;

· inspections of locations or equipment in order to satisfy regulatory authorities of compliance with the law;

· requirements to make formal applications, or provide information, in order to obtain necessary permits to trade;

· requirements to attend courses / obtain particular qualifications;

· enforcement proceedings taken against individuals or organisations in the event of failure to comply with regulations (we cannot consider comments on specific cases unless all proceedings have finished – but we can consider general evidence in relation to enforcement proceedings).

The review will also seek to identify examples of effective, tailored and easy to understand guidance and advice for businesses, and good regulatory delivery that is risk-based, focused on achieving compliance and supporting business growth.

The Government's economic policy objective is to achieve 'strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.' It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:To create the most competitive tax system in the G20To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a businessTo encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economyTo create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across Government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the Government wants the economy to travel.

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