CLEOBURY Mortimer’s MP has welcomed Government plans to protect publicans by setting up an independent adjudicator to address unfair practices in the pub industry.

The Government announced proposals last week for a new statutory code covering the relationship between large pub companies and publicans, to protect publicans from abuses by the large pub companies on issues including rents and the price of beer.

The code would be enforced by an independent adjudicator, based on the model of the Groceries Code Adjudicator, and the Government will now consult on the proposals.

Conservative Philip Dunne, whose Ludlow constituency includes Cleobury, said: “I met representatives from Shropshire brewing and pub sectors when they came to Parliament as part of CAMRA’s lobby to hear their concerns and I know that publicans have had a tough time here in the Ludlow constituency.

“Pubs are so important to their local community and we need to make sure publicans are treated fairly. It is right that Conservatives in Government are doing what they can to protect publicans from abusive rents and prices.”

The proposed code would prevent the abuse of the beer tie, which obliges publicans to sell particular types of beer, according to the principle that “a tied licensee should not be worse off than a free-of-tie licensee”.