Posted by: portsmouthanarchists | May 18, 2010

Capitalism – Killing our pubs?

The Brass Monkey on Fareham highstreet is now closed.

Our local pubs are being squuezed out from competition from chain pubs. The trouble for the Brass Monkey started last year when Wetherspoons opened up a pub just 4 doors away.

Graham Deacon, the pubs’ landlord said at the time the Wetherspoons first opened that he was being squeezed by prices from the brewery, Enterprise Inns, that he was supplied by, government taxes and cheap deals from chain pubs that he just could not match.

Enterprise Inns runs a tenant based pubco business whereby pubs are operated by the people who live and work there who in turn pay rent to the company. Pubcos including Enterprise Inns usually have a tie-in condition in their contracts where pub landlords have to buy all their drinks from the company which gives the Pubco a monopoly on prices and immnse bargaining power.

A government commitee headed by MP Peter Luff looked into the operation of these Pubcos. According to Private Eye, the commitee asked 1000 landlords what it was like to work for the Pubcos and Private Eye states that the commitee had “at last shed light on an industry in freefall, with 40 pubs closing [in the UK] every week. Pubcos are essentially greedy property companies with a cuddly name – and they own nearly half the country’s pub freeholds.”

Then when you combine that with price wars with Wetherspoons with their bargaining power, you can see that your local landlord doesn’t stand a chance.

Is the future just more homogenous pubs? I hope not.

There is one light on the horizon though. The Pub Revolution Movement! Check them out at:

http://www.pubrevolution.co.uk/

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