SLTA Responds To Introduction Of Tied Pubs (Scotland) Act

The (SLTA) Scottish Licensed Trade Association welcomes the introduction of the Tied Pubs (Scotland) Act, announced this morning by the Scottish Government.

Gavin Stevenson, the SLTA’s tied pubs policy adviser, an Inverness-based publican, said:
“This act will regulate the tied pubs sector and provide some of the same protections that tenants in England have long enjoyed.

“However, we are extremely disappointed in the delays to implementation, first as a result of Scottish Government insisting on an extended two-year period for the Act to take effect, then by the obstructive behaviour of some of the tied pub companies in pursuing protracted, but futile, legal challenges, and now by the Scottish Government announcing that the Act will not take full effect until much later this year.

“Scottish tied pub tenants cannot afford any further delay, and we urge the Scottish Government to accelerate implementation.”

The SLTA, which represents independent licensees, has long been a supporter of both the Tied Pubs (Scotland) Bill and a Scottish Pubs Code, claiming that many Scottish tied pub tenants have lost their livelihoods and savings as a result of “rapacious pubco behaviour”.

It previously said that measures in the Bill would strengthen the position of tenants in their relationship with landlords, and put Scottish tenants on an equal footing with their counterparts in England. A statutory code of conduct has been in place in England for several years.

The Bill, put forward by Labour MSP Neil Bibby, was backed by a broad coalition including the SLTA, the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), GMB Scotland, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Scottish Tourism Alliance, the Pubs Advisory Service, and many small brewers.