Norwich publican takes leading role in national campaign

Dawn Hopkins, landlady of the Ketts Tavern.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Dawn Hopkins, landlady of the Ketts Tavern.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

A Norwich publican is continuing her lobbying on behalf of the industry by taking part in the launch of a new national campaign calling on the government to stop large pub companies charging tied tenants hugely inflated beer prices and excessive rents.

The Fair Deal for Your Local campaign has been launched by 10 leading organisations, including Camra, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Forum for Private Business and licensees' organisations.

Dawn Hopkins, who runs the Rose, in Queens Road and the Ketts Tavern, in Ketts Hill, will be representing the Licensees Supporting Licensees group at today's event, which is being held at a former pubco tied pub, the Jolly Anglers in Reading.

Having been closed and boarded up in 2009, the pub is now run successfully by the same landlord who is free to buy beer from local breweries instead of being forced to pay higher pubco prices.

The government has committed to introducing a statutory code of practice for the large companies that will enshrine in law the long accepted but largely-ignored principle: that the tied licensee should not be worse off than a free of tie licensee.

But campaigners believe the only way to do this is to include in the new code an option for the tied landlords of large companies to pay fair market rent only.

Mrs Hopkins said: 'We are all in the trade and fully understand from the grassroots the challenges facing publicans.

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'These are tough times for any business; however when your business 'partner' takes the lion's share of any takings through unrealistic rent and hyper-inflated prices for stock then your chances are not realistic.

'This unfair balance is, single-handed, the biggest cause for pub failure in the present climate. This fails local communities and all pub-goers in general. It is time for a change where no tied pub should be at a disadvantage to any free of tie pub.'

The campaign fits in with the Love your Local campaign, which the Evening News has been running to encourage people to return to pubs.

To see more stories from the Love Your Local campaign, see