Chartered Surveyor Newby was appointed to the role by the Government in 2016 for a four year term. During his term in office he has faced a number of challenges including the introduction of new and technical legislation, high expectations of change in the regulated pub market and a pugnacious stakeholder environment.
In announcing his departure Newby said “the introduction of the Pubs Code has been a major regulatory intervention in the long established tied pub model and a business culture engrained over many years. This has not been an easy task with significant resistance and conflict along the way.
Even so three years on the tied pub landscape is different compared to July 2016 when the Code came into force, the principal effect being to rebalance the relationship between pub tenants and their regulated landlords, giving tenants greater control over their business and the opportunity to make better informed decisions and the best choices for them. I am proud to have played my part in that.
Citing the core Pubs Code principles of fair and lawful dealing and that tied pub tenants should not be worse off than if they were free of the tie Newby added: “There is still substantial work to be done to achieve Parliament’s aims embodied in the Pubs Code, notably a speedy and accessible right for tenants to go free of tie via the MRO option, if that is right for them. However, there has been significant progress and I expect to see this continue across all aspects of the legislation, based on the solid foundations that have been laid during this formative period”.
CAMRA National Chairman, Nik Antona said:
“As the first person to hold the role of Pubs Code Adjudicator, we recognise the challenge of the new legislation and awful track record of behaviour by pub companies that Paul Newby took on when he was appointed.
“He and his deputy, Fiona Dickie, have made progress pushing pub companies to waive confidentiality on decision notices so that pub tenants finally have access to vital information when in disputes with their pubco.
“Unfortunately, it is clear that the Pubs Code is failing. It needs immediate reform to allow Mr Newby’s successor to deliver on the intended aims of the Code and to finally get a fair deal for tenants. We hope that this will be an outcome of the current Statutory Review.”