Community Pubs minister Marcus Jones raises his glass today (15 June 2015) to mark the Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary and celebrate the first-ever Beer Day Britain, which aims to raise the profile of the British beer and pubs industry.
At 12.15pm, the minister will take part in a nationwide toast, joining thousands of community pub patrons and beer lovers across the country.
This is something campaigners want people to capture on social media - using the #CheersBDB hashtag - by posting photographs of themselves with a pint of British beer.
This clinking of glasses coincides with today’s 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. The landmark charter of liberties, one of the most celebrated documents in history, dates back to 1215 and even mentions what was then the nation’s favourite drink, beer.
Clause 35 of the Magna Carta states there should be a single measure for ale throughout the United Kingdom. This measure was called the London Quarter and is the equivalent of 2 pints.
Mr Jones said:
The Great British Pub is a national treasure which is why we are determined to protect it. We should all be proud of our nation’s great history as a brewing powerhouse, therefore it is only right we celebrate Beer Day Britain alongside the Magna Carta today.
I am told that in medieval times a standard measure of beer was the equivalent of 2 pints – called the London quarter - so while our glasses may now be smaller, our love for British beer remains as great as ever.
According to industry figures, some 27.4 million barrels of beer were sold in Britain last year. This equates to 7.9 billion pints. The Good Beer Guide 2015 revealed there are now more than 1,285 breweries in Britain.
Jane Peyton, beer sommelier and founder of Beer Day Britain, said:
How fortunate we are in Britain to be able to drink the best beer in the world in the best pubs in the world.
Pubs are national treasures and I will be visiting a few of my favourites on Beer Day Britain to raise a glass and say ‘cheers to beer’.
Beer Day Britain is supported by major organisations in the beer industry including Britain’s Beer Alliance, British Beer and Pub Association, Society of Independent Brewers, Campaign for Real Ale, Cask Marque, Independent Family Brewers of Britain, Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, British Hop Association and more. See more information.
- we are providing £350,000 to Pub is The Hub and the Plunkett Foundation between 2013 to 2016 to help pubs to provide a wide range of community-focussed services and facilities and to help local residents buy and run co-operative pubs
- the National Planning Policy Framework makes clear that to deliver the social, recreational and cultural facilities that communities need, planning policies and decisions should provide for the use of such facilities, including pubs, and guard against their unnecessary loss
- we are assisting firms with business rates: the Localism Act helps make small business rate relief easier to claim
- we have doubled small business rate relief scheme from October 2010 to March 2016
- we have given councils powers to levy discretionary business rate discounts which could, for example, be used to support local community pubs
- a further centrally-funded business rate discount for pubs (and restaurants and shops) has been introduced worth £1,000 in 2014 to 2015 and £1,500 in 2015 to 2016 for premises with rateable values of up to £50,000
- the coalition government scrapped the preceding administration’s plans for a 10% rise in cider duties (the so-called cider tax)
- the coalition government cut duty on beer by 1p in each of the last 3 budgets, and scrapped the beer duty escalator which would have further increased beer duty every year - as of March 2015, beer is 9p a pint cheaper as a result.
- pubs have benefited from the greater flexibility on weights and measures, allowing beer and wine to be sold in different sizes than was previously allowed by regulations
- we are supporting landlords leasing their pubs from pub companies through the introduction of a statutory code of practice to govern the relationship between pub-owning companies and their tied tenants, with an independent adjudicator to enforce the code
the Live Music Act 2012 has made it easier for pubs to play live music
- we are tackling unfair competition and loss-leading of alcohol by some retailers, without adversely affecting the price of a pint in a pub
- as part of the ‘focus on enforcement of regulation’ initiative launched in July 2012, we have sought to reduce over-zealous regulation of pubs
- new guidance issue by the CCTV Commissioner has sought to stop the blanket imposition of CCTV in all pubs, irrespective of how well they are run
- pubs are among the businesses which have benefited from our exemption of unnecessary health and safety inspections
- changes in corporation tax and national insurance (abolishing NI contributions for under-21s earning less than £813 per week from April 2015, and making it cheaper to employ people on incomes below £21,000) will benefit the pubs sector, which employs large numbers of young people.
The Community Rights are a set of powers which give local people more control over their communities. They can help local communities save local shops, pubs, libraries, parks, football grounds. The Community Rights can help decide what is built, what it looks like and how local areas should develop. Plus groups have the chance to deliver local services and develop them into community enterprises.
The Community Right to Bid, which came into effect on 21 September 2012, gives community groups a fairer chance to prepare and bid to buy community buildings and facilities that are important to them. Communities can nominate any local building or land they love as an ‘asset of community value’ and then, if it comes up for sale, they have 6 months to raise the funds to bid to buy it.
All listed assets of community value can now apply for a certificate from the department to celebrate their ‘ACV’ status. Please email email@example.com for more details.
The Community Right to Bid gives communities a fairer chance to bid to take over local assets of community value, including pubs. According to the Campaign for Real Ale, over 600 pubs have so far been listed as community assets. Further to previous support programmes, this government will be supporting up to 50 partnerships between the local community organisations and local public bodies. The aim is to enable multiple asset transfers to communities, as well as complex and ground-breaking single asset transfer projects in a variety of areas.
The government responded to the call from communities to give them more say in the proposed change of use of those pubs that provide the most community benefit.
National permitted development rights are an important part of the planning system; providing flexibility, reducing bureaucracy and allowing the best use to be made of existing buildings. Existing permitted development rights allow the change of use of a pub to, for example, a restaurant, bank or building society, or a shop, or to be demolished.
The nomination or listing of a pub as an asset of community value in England triggers the disapplication of the national permitted development rights for the change of use or demolition for the period of listing.
This means that where a pub is nominated or listed as an asset of community value, a planning application is required for the change of use or demolition of a pub. This provides an opportunity for local people to comment, and enables the local planning authority to determine the application in accordance with its local plan, any neighbourhood plan, national policy and any other material considerations. The local planning authority may take the listing into account as a material consideration when determining any planning application.