Save The Red Lion Campaign Patrons

  • Sidbury Community Enterprises' community share offer launched to buy the Red Lion
  • Save The Red Lion Campaign Patrons - Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP & The Reverend Susie Williams
  • Campaign's company - Sidbury Community Enterprises - has made an offer to buy the Red Lion
  • East Devon District Council has listed the Red Lion pub as an Asset of Community Value - a significant Campaign milestone

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

MPs Debate Pub Closures - See Minister's Film About Saving Community Assets

This afternoon, MPs will debate pub closures, and what can be done to keep them open. This debate topic has been chosen by the Opposition. One option available to campaigners, such as Save The Red Lion Campaign, is to make use of "community rights" legislation, which came into force in 2012 within the Localism Act. The Campaign did this which led East Devon District Council listing the Red Lion as an Asset of Community Value.
To coincide with the debate today in parliament the BBC has produced a short film in Communities Minister Stephen Williams explains how the use of the legislation works for the benefit of local communities  as he looks at sites in Oxfordshire in his personal film. It is well worth watching and is only 3 minutes long.
The Minister was due to debate this film on today's BBC Two Daily Politics programme just before 1.00pm. The film will be on BBC iPlayer for seven days after transmission. The film can be accessed at –

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Red Lion Owner Punch Taverns Debt Restructuring Showdown Time

The Red Lion is owned by Punch Taverns. Punch Taverns have been heavily indebted for quite some while. We have been watching with interest & some concern at the ongoing press speculation that there has been over the past year or more about whether Punch Taverns would be able to successfully restructure their debt in a way that meets their bondholders expectations.
Deadlines for restructuring the enormous £2.3bn debt have come & gone. However, it looks as if we have reached a point where something will happen in the immediate future, one way or another. The press over the past couple of days is awash with stories about the impending defaulting by Punch Taverns should the debt restructuring that it announced yesterday not be accepted. It appears that a meeting of those to whom Punch Taverns is in debt to is to be held on 14 February.
The Publicans Morning Advertiser yesterday carried details of Punch Taverns proposals in an article under the heading “Punch announces full restructure proposal” -
Also yesterday the Daily telegraph, in article headed “Punch Taverns on collision course with lenders over £2.3bn debt” indicated that some of those who are owed money by Punch Taverns would reject the proposals. Last September Punch Taverns warned that if restructure plans were not accepted then it would not be able to continue trading as a going concern.
In today’s Independent an article “It’s time for Punch Taverns to put up or shut up”. Basically the article says that the saga of Punch Taverns attempt to deal with its huge debt has gone on long enough and speculates as to intentions of both the Punch Taverns management & the bond holders as they all now go eyeball to eyeball.
Further, in today’s Guardian article “Punch Taverns warns of default if restructure rejected” gives detailed analysis of the difficulties of trying to restructure the debt. Interesting is the fact that despite the business only having a share value of just over £100m it has spent £20m on restructuring advisers. This comes on top of £30m previously spend on advisers when it not that long ago demerged the company’s managed pub division Spirit Group.
At the end of the day it will be the landlords & the customers of Punch Taverns pubs who are left wondering what will all of this mean for them & my local. We wonder what this will mean for the Campaign as it continues to prepare to seek to purchase the Red Lion from Punch Taverns.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Campaign Plays Its Part In CAMRA Listing Drive

For 2013 the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) had set a target of 300 pubs being listed by their local communities as Assets of Community Value as part of its campaign to try to save pubs. Just as Xmas arrived CAMRA proudly announced that it was well on course to hit what was seen as an ambitious target. It had by then already reached 276 pubs nationwide having been registered during 2013, and that was with more registrations still to be formally notified to CAMRA.
A CAMRA representative said “We are looking forward to pushing further and we aim to have 400 listed pubs by the end of next year (2014), which should be more than achievable”.
Save The Red Lion Campaign added the Red Lion to the CAMRA numbers when it persuaded East Devon District Council to list it back in September.

Monday, 6 January 2014