BEER lovers in Bolton are celebrating after the government announced new rules to help pub tenants stay in business.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) in Bolton has been involved in a national campaign calling on greater protection for landlords in “tied pubs”, who can be forced to buy supplies from the companies that own the pubs at increased prices.

Under the proposed laws, which were included in the Queen’s Speech yesterday, the government would introduce a new statutory code to ensure publicans who are tied to a pub-owning company are treated fairly.

Tenant landlords would be able to question the need for a rent rise, if their owners suggest it, and request their own rent review after five years.

Don Chattwood, treasurer and pubs officer for Bolton CAMRA, welcomed the news. He said: “We wanted the government to look into this issue, and we didn’t know how it would go as there was no real feedback from the government about what they were planning.

“Now they are looking at legislation following issues that were raised, some of them quite some years ago, about the way pub owning companies operate with their tenants. Hopefully now there is going to be a positive outcome for pubs — it’s becoming more and more recognised that pubs are at the heart of our community, something which has taken a bashing recently.”

MP for Bolton North East David Crausby presented a petition of more than 43,000 signatures with CAMRA representatives calling for a new pub watchdog, as reported in The Bolton News in May.

He said it was a good inclusion in a “pretty innocuous” speech by the Queen, which lays out the government’s plans for laws before the next general election.

He added: “I hope the Queen supports pubs in the same way that I do. They are an important part of our communities, and so many have disappeared in recent years.

“Anything we can do to protect them is very welcome.”