Roger Whiteside, the head of Punch Taverns' leased arm, has hit back at those opposed to significant pub company reform, saying they are in "cloud cuckoo land". He said that individuals within the industry that did not recognise the need for operators of leased estates to promote change and address political concerns were woefully misguided. Responding to suggestions that some executives within the pub company fraternity thought that Punch had conceded too much ground, Whiteside said: "They must be in cloud cuckoo land. They need to wake up and smell the coffee." The managing director said the case for change – both commercially and politically – was clear. He said that initiatives such as a new lease agreement that offered free-of-tie prices in exchange for a higher base rent, were necessary in order to attract entrepreneurial licensees and to establish the long-term sustainability of the business, despite the short-term risk to profits. Whiteside the aim was to create a reputation as the most trusted and best value pub company. Punch Taverns is set to release its code of conduct – documenting every moving part of the relationship with lessess – ahead of the June industry deadline. Sources close to the company suggest that the document will go “way beyond” the industry’s own code.