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Issue:- 15 November  2012


THE GMB has stated that it:- "is disappointed at the weak questions posed by the Vince Cable" and that the list of those being consulted:- "does not include any organization that directly represents tenants."

GMB has stated that it will gather evidence from tied pub tenants on the 4 questions raised by Vince Cable on self-regulation and the economic dispute in the sector. GMB has until 23 November 2012 to respond with evidence to these 4 questions and on the wider economic dispute between tied tenants and pubcos.

GMB has set up mobile app that will make it easy for tied tenants to provide confidential information regarding their own experience of with their pubco and whether they have seen any improvements due the self-regulation introduced last year. This follows a recent tweet to a GMB tied tenant by pub minister Jo Swinson asking the tenant to put her case forward as part of the evidence gathering.

GMB will use this easy to use app to gather information on the 4 questions posed by Vince Cable in his letter on 7 November 2012 and wider economic dispute. The four questions from Cable are as follows:-

1. What action has been taken, and is planned, by the governing board of PICAS to promote and maintain awareness among licensees of the availability of mediation and arbitration services in relation to any matter relating to the Framework and Company Codes. Any facts you can share, consistent with commercial confidentiality, of binding decisions already made by PICAS would also be welcome.

2. What action has been taken, and is planned, by the large pubcos (those with over 500 pubs) to maintain awareness among licensees of their rights under the code, including of the specific improvements introduced in December 2012 through version 5 of the Industry Framework Code in relation to rents, insurance, dilapidations and training, including pre-entry training; of the legally binding nature of the code; and of licensees' right to binding arbitration. I would be interested to know what further improvements the industry is proposing to include in version 6 of the code, designed to further improve transparency and fairness for tenants and when will these be implemented?

3. What progress have the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) made in preparing for their code re-accreditation role and what is the status of the necessary agreements with the industry on how the re-accreditation process will work?

4. What action, if any, is being taken under the leadership of the BII to set up a Pubs Advisory Service for licensees, further to the Pubs Advisory Service already set up under the leadership of Chris Wright and others.

Dave Mountford, GMB branch secretary, said:- "GMB is disappointed at the weak questions posed by the Vince Cable to members of the industry regarding self-regulation. GMB is also very concerned that the list of organisations being consulted does not include any organization that directly represents tenants. As Mr Cable clearly only intends to hear the views of one side of the industry, to questions that do not relate to the crux of the issue, our responses, will hopefully even that out. We had already put in place a mobile app that was due to be launched in the next few weeks, but this opportunity was too good to pass up. Jo Swinson is well known for her use of Social Networking and clearly supports the idea of tenants using this system to put across their points. The importance of this current review cannot be overstated and we need as much feedback from tenants as possible. The 'App' can be viewed through a normal Web Browser or through an I Phone and the information requested relates to disputes between the tenant and their pubco and how they are resolved. There is an opportunity to give a very detailed response outlining the issue at hand and the tenants comments on how they view self-regulation is working. Whilst all the information given is strictly confidential it is important that we are provided with means of verifying the individual and therefore being able to confirm their points are valid."

Afternoon of Christmas Baking with Southport Bake-Off winner Alexandra Fisher

THE Southport based business, In-Toto Kitchens, is due to hold an afternoon of Christmas Baking with Alexandra Fisher, the winner of Southport's 2012 Bake Off. The event will include baking demonstrations of a range of Christmas treats and tastings and will be held on Thursday, 6 December 2012, at the showroom on Eastbank Street. The afternoon will kick off with mulled wine and mince pies. Alex impressed the judges of the Southport Bake-Off this summer when she baked and devised delicious and stunning cakes on the themes 'Southport' and 'Jubilee'. She now runs her own business – Truly Scrumptious. In-Toto owner Jane Miller told us:- "Alex and I decided we wanted to do something together when we met at the Southport Food Festival. There is such a high level of interest in baking at the moment – and we have such a lovely space in which Alex can show off her skills. The event will be a must for anyone interested in baking, or who wants to pick up a few new ideas for the Christmas period." Alex will be demonstrating how to bake a range of festive treats, from a Christmas Roulade to mince pies with a twist, and also demonstrate a few of her baking and decorating tips. Drinks will be served and all items will be available to taste afterwards!

The event is ticketed at a cost of £5 which will be donated to Professor Robert Winston's Genesis Research Trust. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling In-toto Southport on:- 01704 545551. Added Jane, "We expect this event to be a sell-out as we've already had a lot of interest; so please book early to avoid disappointment!"

London's Royal Opera House and the MET Opera, New York

THE performances of famous operas and ballets will be available in Towns and Cities across the UK with the launch of Vue Cinemas' biggest season of Vue Classical screenings to date at 35 locations including Southport.

The cinema chain will screen performances by the Royal Opera House, recorded or broadcast live from London's Covent Garden and the MET Opera from New York, giving culture vultures and newcomers the chance to see famous classical productions, such as The Nutcracker, Le Boheme and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, without having to travel to London or New York.

Each performance will be presented via Vue's Breatht4King Sony Digital 4K projectors, which deliver a new level of picture quality to every seat. With four times the megapixels of 2K and HD, theatre fans will be amazed by the detail and fluidity of images. Sony 4K Digital screens give cinema goers an experience they simply can't get at home and as each performance is filmed from several positions in the theatre, audiences will get views that theatre-goers simply will not see.

Dave Pearce, Film Programmer of Vue Entertainment, comments:- "We are immensely proud to be bringing the Royal Opera House and MET's performances to cinemas across the UK, providing people with an affordable and convenient way to enjoy this amazing art form, especially for people outside of London. Our screens and audio-visual equipment bring out the best of each performance and go one better by providing shots of all the drama from several different angles, something you can't get anywhere else. After the success of previous screenings with the Royal Opera House and The Metropolitan Opera, we're sure that audiences will be as excited as we are to see these magical performances, from the epic scale of Les Troyens and magical wonder of The Nutcracker, to the poetic romance and heartbreak of Le Boheme."

Upcoming operas:-

LES TROYENS, Sunday, 18 November 2012, (Royal Opera House) - Les Troyens tells of the fall of Troy to the Greeks and their Trojan horse. Taken from Virgil's The Aeneid, the performance focuses on Énée, who flees the ransacking of his City aboard a ship that crashes at Carthage, governed by Queen Dido. Énée win's the queen's heart, but their relationship is doomed as Énée must obey the gods and start a new City of his own.

THE NUTCRACKER, Thursday, 13 December 2012, (Royal Opera House)  -  With Christmas on its way, Vue will be screening a live broadcast of The Nutcracker, which is set to Tchaikovsky's dramatic score. The story follows Clara, a little girl who is given a nutcracker in the shape of a man as a present on Christmas Eve. Later that night the nutcracker is transformed into a real life prince and the two set off on adventures full of gingerbread soldiers and waltzing flowers, venturing to the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

AIDA, Saturday, 15 December 2012, (Metropolitan Opera) - In addition to the Royal Opera House, Vue will screen several performances from New York's Metropolitan Opera, among them is Verdi's Aida. The story follows Aida, an Ethiopian princess sold into slavery in ancient Egypt and Radamés, an Egyptian military commander who must choose between his love for the princess and loyalty to his Pharaoh.

, Tuesday, 15 January 2012, (Royal Opera House) - This tale follows a group of bohemian friends in Paris, charting their tumultuous love lives. The story begins on Christmas Eve with a chance encounter between writer Rodolfo and embroider Mimi. The pair instantly fall in love, but their relationship is pulled apart as Rodolfo becomes increasingly jealous and Mimi's health fails. As time moves on the pair both lament their loneliness. The story concludes when Mimi appears at Rodolfo's house only moments away from death and the couple recount their lost love.

Pricing is a follows:-

Metropolitan Opera:- £20 (£15 for selected sites) .
Royal Opera House:- £15 (£12.50 for selected sites).

Tickets are now on sale at:-

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