ICSM Hospitality News: Pubs take on the Government, ‘let us open when shops open in April’

Picture: BBC

ICSM Hospitality News: Pubs take on the Government, ‘let us open when shops open in April’


Pub chain Punch Tavern founder Hugh Osmond and an adviser to Manchester’s night time economy Sacha Lord are threatening to take the Government to court over the continued lockdown of pubs.

They have sent a letter to the Prime Minister demanding the reopening of pubs and restaurants on April 12, when ‘non-essential’ retailers can reopen. On that day pubs can only serve customers outdoors and will have to wait another month to May 17 when they may open their doors to patrons.

Hugh Osmond. Pic: Business Insider

Legal case

The duo representing much of the industry’s voice believe pubs only spread a tiny amount of the virus as they are regulated to insist on social distancing and table service while schools were blamed last October for the autumn surge in infections.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM said that social distancing was barely observed in big supermarkets and garden centres. “It seems so unfair on pubs and restaurants that they are penalised with little evidence they cause the virus to spread,” he said, “last summer if it hadn’t been for pubs and restaurants the economy would have been hit even worse – but they got blamed for the autumnal increase in Covid cases with no evidence. I hope this legal threat goes ahead and the Government that has got many things wrong during this crisis admit they made a mistake and let the pubs open.”

Many workers in the industry are young people. Pic: BBC

Three million jobs

Hugh Osmond said: "This legal case will give a fighting chance to over three million people who work in hospitality, to the tens of thousands of businesses, suppliers, landlords and contractors - large and small - forced into bankruptcy, and to millions of our loyal customers who have been deprived of the human social interaction they experience in our premises."

Ian Carrotte said it wasn’t just about blokes wanting to have a pint of beer but about the suppliers, the workers and the publicans – many of whom have been forced into insolvency already. He added: “Three million people work in hospitality with a large proportion of young people and students as well as a sizeable chunk of people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds – these workers have been hit the hardest by the shutdowns.”

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ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel - while at the moment there's a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach - ask for details from Paul.

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