The ‘superpower’ of the industry is when it works together, BII chief executive, Steve Alton, told the National Pubwatch Conference in Swindon.
National Pubwatch chair Steve Baker opens the conference
He said collaboration and partnership are key for the pub industry and late-night economy. “Our superpower as a sector is when we all come together.”
He highlighted the success of collaboration during the pandemic, presenting a united message to Government when the industry needed support. “Part of that collaboration for the first time was getting the government to recognise the unique role of hospitality beyond its economic contribution of £42bn a year,” he said.
He added that having this type of collaboration is also fundamental in improving late-night safety. He raised concerns about the survival of many businesses in the current economic climate.
His view that partnership is crucial for the safety and success of the late-night economy was supported by the national Pubwatch of the year, Reading Pubwatch.
“Pubwatch is a voluntary organisation. It should be run by licensees, for licensees, and respect should be given that it is a standalone organisation,” Reading Pubwatch honorary chair, Bill Donne, told delegates.
“But it really needs support from partners, be it from the licensing officers at the council or from the police, but also other forums such as the local Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), night-time economy partnerships, and so on.”
Awards were presented at the conference, including the National Pubwatch Award of Merit. This was given to former honorary secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group and former vice-chair of Best Bar None, Robert Humphreys MBE, for his contribution to partnership working.
The prestigious Malcolm Eidmans award, sponsored by Poppleston Allen, which recognises the outstanding contribution made by a police officer or member of police staff in supporting Pubwatch, was given to police Sergeant Simon Hay, who works with Orkney Pubwatch.
National Pubwatch gave a bravery and meritorious conduct award to Alan Gray, a Norwich security officer, who stepped in to save the lives of people on a night out after a man attacked people with a knife.
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