Campaign for Pubs

A real voice for pubs: Publicans, campaigners and pub-lovers join forces to promote, support and protect UK pubs

A new national grassroots campaign for pubs has been launched, with a clear mission to campaign to promote, support and protect pubs – and to be a real voice for pubs and all who love and value them.

The Campaign for Pubs (on Twitter @campaignforpubs) has been established by a group of prominent licensees, leading pub campaigners, small brewers and pub lovers including academics, musicians and actors. The Campaign for Pubs is a dynamic mass membership group open to all who love and care about pubs, and unlike any other sector organisation it unites publicans, pub campaigners, customers and suppliers, including some of the UK’s leading smaller brewers.

The Campaign for Pubs exists to provide a #realvoiceforpubs and to campaign for a better, freer and fairer, more sustainable pub sector. The Campaign wishes to see more pubs in the hands of those who genuinely care about them, thus seeing them better placed to serve the needs of local communities and with better protection against cynical closure and predatory property development. The Campaign for Pubs mission statement lays out this powerful vision.

The Campaign for Pubs costs £25 a year to join, or £40 for a couple. Members will become part of a national network of those who care about pubs and their future, and their subscription will fund campaigning work on key issues.

The Campaign for Pubs has been formed partly in response to the urgent need for a powerful voice for thousands of pubs currently facing an existential threat due to the enforced closures resulting from the Covid-19 outbreak. This has led to many licensees and campaigners coming together to provide a strong voice for pubs and publicans to demand change in the sector, which has seen many long-standing problems cruelly exposed and exacerbated by the current crisis, including the business model and conduct of the large pub-owning companies, the weakness of the Pubs Code and Adjudicator, the attitude of the insurance industry and a lack of sufficient recognition within tax and planning law of the vital role pubs play in their communities.

As well as publicans and pub campaigners, the Campaign for Pubs is also being supported by the UK’s dynamic small brewers, keen to see a more open, thriving, sustainable pub sector offering them far more direct access to pubs and to publicans. Leading brewery and outspoken sector campaigner Phil Saltonstall of Brass Castle is the Campaign for Pubs Brewer Coordinator. Leading licensing lawyer David Dadds and Professor Darren Lilleker of Bournemouth University have also joined the NEC as has renowned actor and musician Paul Courtney Hyu as Pub Music and Culture Champion. The Campaign for Pubs will be chaired by leading licensee campaigner, Paul Crossman with well- known pub campaigner, former MP and British Pub Confederation Greg Mulholland as Campaign Director and award-winning licensee Dawn Hopkins as Vice-Chair.

The Campaign for Pubs is a member organisation of the British Pub Confederation (the Confederation of independent organisations representing pubs and pub campaigners) and the Campaign for Pubs will administer and support the ongoing work of the Confederation to further strengthen representation for pubs and publicans.

Key people and National Executive Committee members of the Campaign for Pubs are:

  • Paul Crossman (Chair) – licensee of The Swan, The Slip Inn and Volunteer Arms in York, British Pub Confederation
  • Greg Mulholland (Campaign Director) – British Pub Confederation (Chair), Fair Deal for Your Local (founder/Chair), founder of the Parliamentary Save the Pub Group and Top 40 CAMRA campaigner and former MP.
  • Dawn Hopkins (Vice Chair) – licensee The Rose Inn, Licensees Supporting Licensees, British Pub Confederation, Fair Deal for Your Local
  • Phil Saltonstall (Brewer Coordinator) – MD and founder, Brass Castle Brewery
  • Ian Lock (Secretary) – licensee, Llansantffraid, Protect Pubs
  • Georgette Way – multi CAMRA award winning Cheltenham Motor Club clubhouse and bar
  • Mark Newcombe (Community Pubs Adviser) – Chairman, Craufurd Arms Society and CAMRA Pubs Protection Officer for Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead
  • David Dadds – Dadds LLP Licensing Solicitors
  • Victoria McDonald – licensee The Old Ram Coaching Inn, an 11-bedroomed hotel recently bought by Admiral Taverns, based in South Norfolk
  • James Watson (Pub Protection Adviser) – Protect Pubs (founder), British Pub Confederation
  • Gary Murphy (PCA Liaison) – licensee, Old Mitre Inne, High Barnet, British Pub Confederation
  • Professor Darren Lilleker – Professor of Political Communication at Bournemouth University, former newsletter editor and Chair of the East Dorset branch of the CAMRA and current organiser of Poole Beer Festival.
  • Dave Law – licensee, The Eagle Ale House, Battersea, Fair Pint campaign, British Pub Confederation, Fair Deal for Your Local
  • Alison Smith – former licensee, Fair Deal for Your Local campaigner
  • Adrian Yalland – British Pub Confederation, Fair Deal for Your Local campaign
  • Patrick Graham – Protect Pubs
  • Alan Yorke (Treasurer) – Licensees Supporting Licensees, British Pub Confederation, Fair Deal for Your Local

Commenting, Paul Crossman, Chair of the Campaign for Pubs said:

“There is an urgent need for a dynamic new campaign group providing a real voice for pubs and those who love and support them and we will begin by calling for urgent action to support and save pubs facing huge losses due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The Campaign for Pubs will campaign vigorously, along with the British Pub Confederation, for more support for pubs now. We will then campaign for the key changes that are needed to deliver a more independent and sustainable future for pubs, one which will allow them to truly thrive as cornerstones of their communities as all pubs should. For less than the price of a pint a month, you can help stand up for pubs and publicans, so please join us today and fight for pubs!”

Commenting, Campaign Director of the Campaign for Pubs, Greg Mulholland said:

“It’s high time that all who are passionate about pubs came together to speak with one voice to campaign vigorously for a better, more independent future for pubs and I am delighted that the Campaign for Pubs has begun. We have lost too many pubs due to predatory purchasing, greed and apathy and it is time that we had a radical new grassroots campaign to bring communities together, publicans and customers, to say enough is enough and to fight to preserve pub culture and defend the key role pubs play in our communities, local economies and in our history and heritage. We urge all who love and value pubs to join us now, especially with the real threat pubs face now, with the Covid-19 crisis”.

Commenting, Dawn Hopkins, Vice-Chair of the Campaign for Pubs said:

“Since pubs were closed in March, many publicans have asked to join and support the British Pub Confederation and so we have set up a new mass membership group to work alongside it and to give pubs and publicans a real voice. For years now, licensees have fought for a louder voice and the Campaign for Pubs will give us that and bring us together with our customers and passionate pub campaigners up and down the country. We are already speaking up for pubs in the current crisis and will continue to do so, campaigning for a better, fairer, more sustainable pub sector”.

Commenting, Phil Saltonstall, MD of Brass Castle Brewery and Brewer Coordinator for the Campaign for Pubs said:

“We have a dynamic brewing sector with many wonderful smaller breweries making great beer, but access to market is often closed-off due to the dominance of large pubcos and giant brewers. Big players have made the UK pub landscape in large part inequitable, skewed and charmless. Established organisations are struggling to speak-up for small brewers in that context. I am delighted to support the Campaign for Pubs and add our voice to calling for a better, freer, fairer and more independent future for the UK’s pubs and brewers alike.”