Save UK Pubs met with the Treasury earlier this year to lay out our case that the model and/or implementation of the model by the VOA was flawed such that more than 30% of our pubs had seen increases of more than 30%.
We noted that a significant number of those were pubs which were out performing for their given location, whether, rural, village, town or city and that we thought that this was not isolated to St Albans, but was UK wide.
We understood from the Treasury that the reform was supposed to help most pubs, including over performers, so that these types of increases should not have happened, unless there was something wrong with the model, or the implementation of the new fair market trade guidelines or some other factor.
We don’t know why it happened, we just know it has.
Treasury asked us to gather data supporting this, so we have. It’s a big process and slow going for a volunteer group, however the specific areas we have looked at so far are as follows:
- Brighton & Hove.
- Suffolk Coast
- St Albans District.
And support our case for urgent business rate reform to #saveourpubs
Treasury asked us to get the big lobby groups to help us, and CAMRA is on board. However, we don’t want to lose sight of the plight of the hard hit individual landlords, who face the daily personal trials we all face and who has overnight seen their hard earned profits halved or worse. We are fighting for them, while they are fighting to keep their business afloat.
We will be sharing their stories here. We h\also ave another meeting coming up with Treasury before the end of February. We ask those Landlords who are willing to share their financial data (we know everyone’s numbers are not looking great, the reform has not helped) and their daily struggles to send us their case study so we can present it to Treasury and to the public in the hope that collectively, we will have a voice and drive urgent change.
Our hard working independent landlords should not be at risk of losing their business, nor should people have already lost a business, because of the implementation of a business rate policy that was not tested first. We know that there will be a resolution and welcome the support of the big lobby groups. We want to make sure that our indies have a voice at the table as well when the government revisits the model.
We would love all the help we can get, please read the case studies, share them and if you are up for it, send us your own so that together we can #saveourpubs