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Real Community Commitment

Personal licences moves welcomed

by Ashleigh 11/13/2014 1:56:00 PM

Publicans with personal licences that expire early next year will need to complete an application form to renew their licence, for no new application fee, the Home Office has confirmed. The Government said that the Deregulation Bill, which will remove the requirement to renew personal licences, will receive Royal Assent no earlier than spring 2015.

Speaking at the Institute of Licensing National Training Event, Home Office official Anna Dawson said that the affected licensees will need to submit a short form providing basic information on their local authority. There will be no application fee and no need to supply photographs, criminal record or the existing personal licence.

Brigid Simmonds, British Beer & Pub Association’s Chief Executive, said: “Personal licences work very well, are popular within the industry and set a national standard which is supported by both local authorities and the police. We are very pleased that the Home Office has come up with a solution. I look forward to seeing the formal proposals on how this will be undertaken.”

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Pub inspired by popular TV show

by Ashleigh 11/11/2014 1:55:00 PM

A popular pub is to host a 12 hour Game of Thrones spectacular on 15 November – complete with its own ‘Iron Throne’.  Darren Robinson, landlord of the Robin Hood in Kirkgate, Leeds, is a big fan of the hit TV programme, which follows the brutal power battles between different royal clans.

He said: “It was my idea, as something different to do at the pub and it should be a fantastic day. We’re hoping loads of people will come and join in as it’s also a fundraiser for Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue.”

Staff and regulars of the Kirkgate pub will also be attending the event in full Game of Thrones costume.

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Pub remains top activity for Brits

by Ashleigh 11/10/2014 1:53:00 PM

New research from Carlsberg UK shows that visiting the pub remains the number one out-of-home leisure activity for UK adults. The figures showed that 34% of consumers choose to go to pubs, compared to 31% visiting retail locations, 30% choosing coffee shops and 20% using the gym.

Additionally, the research found that weekly pub visits have risen 1% since 2010 and that pubs and bars are popular across a variety of demographics. However, consumption of alcohol is less important to youngsters, with pub visits falling from 42% in 2010 to 36% this year amongst 18-25 year olds.

Kathryn Purchase, Director of Customer Marketing at Carlsberg UK, said: "The findings of our research are good news for the on-trade. Even in the face of negative press surrounding the prospects for pubs and bars, average weekly visits have increased. Pubs and bars remain central to people's leisure choices and are by far the favourite out-of-home activity for the UK adult.”

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New campaign protects pub workers

by Ashleigh 11/10/2014 1:53:00 PM

National Pubwatch has launched a campaign to help prevent violence against publicans and workers in the night time economy.

The group is asking its members to display posters reading: “I am vulnerable” in their pubs, to remind staff to report all cases of assault and to remind investigating officers that assaulting a bar worker is an “aggravating factor” under the Sentencing Council, meaning that it increases the severity or culpability of the act.

The poster also states that publicans who have been the victim of an assault are entitled to make a Victims Personal Statement at the same time as a witness statement, to explain the impact of the crime.

Steve Baker, National Pubwatch Chair, said: “We know that most people accept that there are risks associated with working in the night time economy – however we believe that when things go wrong you should expect to be supported by the Criminal Justice System.”

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Beer sales continuing to rise

by Ashleigh 11/10/2014 12:07:00 PM

After more than seven years of decline, beer sales are continuing to rise. The British Beer & Pub Association's Quarterly Beer Barometer shows that annual beer sales to the year ending September are up 1.4 per cent on the previous year.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said: "We are seeing a very encouraging recovery in UK beer sales, but there is certainly a way to go, after a long period of declining volumes.

“We've seen a boost in investment and jobs as a result of the last two budgets with their one pence duty cuts, and major industry campaigns, such as 'There's a Beer for That' show that the UK beer category is increasingly on the front foot. Another beer duty cut in March would really help the industry to continue this recovery."

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Pub landlord in racist Halloween row

by Ashleigh 11/10/2014 12:05:00 PM

A landlord has been at the centre of a race row after hosting a Ku Klux Klan-themed Halloween party at his Brixton pub. Simon Tickner “blacked-up” in a witch doctor costume and was paraded around the Queens Head by a black partygoer dressed in a KKK outfit, who was also pictured giving an apparent Nazi salute.

When a woman complained on Facebook that the party was inappropriate, she received an obscene response containing threats of a violent nature, apparently from the pub’s own account.

Mr Tickner told BBC London that he did not write the Facebook post himself and claimed he did not know who was behind it, saying there a number of people with access to the account. BBC London reported that Lambeth Council is investigating the possibility of a breach of licensing rules.

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Government pledges £10m to boost tourism

by Ashleigh 11/5/2014 12:06:00 PM

Tourist board VisitEngland has welcomed government plans to help boost tourism in the North, ahead of upcoming Northern Futures Summit in Leeds. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg recently announced plans to make available £10m worth of funds to help back a tourism strategy for the region.

James Berresford, VisitEngland chief executive, said: “This commitment from government clearly demonstrates that tourism is being increasingly recognised as a key driver of the economy, which creates important jobs throughout the country. We will be working closely with our sponsor department, our local partners, and the private sector to devise and implement the strategy to launch next year.”

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said: "This is very positive news – it shows that the government is seeing the massive potential of tourism to drive forward the economy and generate new jobs. The north of England is a good place to start with such an initiative and we would hope it will quickly grow to encompass other areas of the country.”

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Pub seeks biggest liar

by Ashleigh 11/5/2014 12:05:00 PM

The hunt is on once again to find the biggest liar in the world, with hopefuls gathering to tell their tall tales at a pub. The World's Biggest Liar contest, sponsored by Jennings Brewery, will take place at The Bridge Inn, Santon Bridge, Cumbria, on 20 November.

Entrants are asked to tell their tall tales to a packed pub audience, as well as a panel of judges, in their quest to win the coveted title. Politicians and those in the legal profession are unable to enter, due to competition rules that deem them too well-versed to apply.

Sarah Grave, Jennings Brewery assistant brand manager,  said: "We've certainly heard many hilarious tales over the years and we're hoping this will be our best year yet. As a judge, it's hard to work out who's telling the best fibs as the competition is fierce. However, newcomers to the competition shouldn't let this put them off and should come and join in the fun."

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Home Office minister Baker quits

by Ashleigh 11/4/2014 12:04:00 PM

Liberal Democrat minister, Norman Baker, has quit his position as Crime Prevention Minister, citing difficulties in working under the Conservative Home Secretary, Theresa May.

One of Baker’s first acts in Government was to cancel the proposed abolition of personal licences after a backlash from the trade. However, he also initially ignored calls for licensing flexibility during this summer’s World Cup, only to be overruled by the Prime Minister, which resulted in pubs being granted permission to open later for England matches.

Baker was appointed in October 2013 as part of a Government reshuffle, and replaced fellow Lib-Dem minister Jeremy Browne. His replacement is expected to be announced imminently.

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Drinks calorie labelling criticised by trade

by Ashleigh 11/3/2014 12:03:00 PM

Calorie labels for alcoholic drinks should be displayed on pump clips, menus and beer mats, alongside the number of units a drink contains, according to the Royal Society for Public Health.

A new report, called ‘Increasing awareness of invisible calories from alcohol’, says two thirds of the public actively support the addition of calorie labels on packaging, with the majority unaware of the calorific content of a pint of lager or glass of wine. However, the report has been criticised by the trade, who say the move won’t work in isolation.

The Royal Society for Public Health is calling for research to strengthen the argument for calorie labelling of alcohol in pubs, as well as in the off-trade, in a bid to tackle rising levels of obesity.  The European Commission is set to make a decision on the issue next month.

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