Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Times gone by and times remembered ... The Licensed Victualler's Association

Back in the day when publicans were respected members of the community (you went to them for references, to get your passport photo endorsed etc) who had the active approval of magistrates and police (not the tacit approval of elected politicians under the 2003 licensing regime) and who were very much in touch with the communities they served things seemed a little surer and a lot more "civilised".

So news that the Federation Of Licensed Victuallers (even the name is redolent of a more pleasant era) has shown a recent resurgence is very welcome. This writer, at least, looks forward to their increased presence in the pub industry, they have the cultural and political heritage to go where some of the single issue groups purporting to represent this industry cannot venture.

The old associations, based locally with a national federation, did sterling work to represent their members' interests (both tied and free of tie) and their broad remit to see that all sectors of the pub industry worked together has been beyond groups such as Fair Pint, Justice For Licensees, Freedom To Choose. These latter day "campaigning" bodies have only succeeded in further fragmenting an already disjointed trade, who, once the Beer Orders disassembled the age old relationships between brewers and publicans, were left voiceless and leaderless.

As I have said here and elsewhere the trade needs a unified and cogent voice to lead us through these most difficult of times and the FLVA (although only 16 years old) and the local organisations it represents (going much longer) has the potential to fill that gaps.

visit their website for more information:  http://www.flva.co.uk/

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