Pubs Code Adjudicator Paul Newby told MCA’s Tenanted Pub Company Summit that 2018 will see more clarity on key areas of the legislation.

Speaking at last week’s event, held at London’s Bloomsbury Hotel, Newby issued a challenge to those groups covered by the code to allow him to meet their BDMS, stressing that the role was crucial to the evolution of pubco-tenant relations.

He also referenced Ei Group’s High Court appeal against an award from the PCA, saying he had applied to become a party to that appeal, stressing there was “a clear public interest”.

Newby acknowledged frustration with the sector and insisted he was seeking to “push up the pace”.

He said: “I have been criticised for not doing very much but if you look at what we have achieved 18 months I think you can see that there has been a lot of hard work. My team has grown over the year and we are doing things at more pace. There is a lot of advice and guidance available now, but there needs to be more and I’m aware there are crucial areas that need clarity and resolution.”

Newby revealed headline findings of the PCA’s Tenant Survey, which will be published in full later this month, which he said showed the BDM role to be crucial to a successful tied tenant/pub-owning business relationship

He said: “The survey tells us tenants recognise that BDMs are fulfilling their operational duties under the code, for instance maintaining and sharing records of meetings. But, there is less tenant satisfaction for BDM support, for example informing tenants of the code and signposting support.

“I’d like to issue a challenge to pub owning business. I would like to meet and present to BDMs about the code.

“This relationship is crucial to the success and health of pubs and liked to my aim of achieving that change.”

Answering questions from delegates, Newby insisted that he did see a future for the tied agreement, adding: “The point of the code is not to promote free-of-tie. It’s to offer tenants choice. It is up to the industry to determine the pathway. The code is there to ensure this is done in a fair and transparent way.”