An apple juice out in the cold
Children are now allowed to join their parents down the pub. So what stops them? asks Sheila Sang
Tuesday 13 June 1995
North of the border, under-14s have been downing apples juices and colas since the Children's Certificate scheme was introduced in 1991. But south of the border and six months into the scheme, children are still out in the cold while landlords struggle with a mountain of red tape.
You may think the provision of CD-Rom drives at each table, chocolate milkshakes on tap and an emergency supply of nappies requires a lot of paperwork. But what is actually required is far less exciting. To qualify, according to the Home Office, pubs must serve food and non-alcoholic drinks. They must also be "suitable". A "family atmosphere" is a must and that doesn't mean tantrums and parental showdowns. Quite what does make a pub "suitable" is for individual licensing magistrates to decide. And that is why transforming often already family-friendly pubs into official kiddie zones is so difficult.
Take Jerry Watson of Bass Taverns. When he applied for Children's Certificates for two pubs in Vale Royal, near Manchester, the local licensing authority specified 36 conditions, ranging from separate new toilets for children and water no hotter than 39C to low level-basins and baby-changing facilities. No matter that the gardens (and loos) of the pubs in question are already extensively used by families.
Then there is Brewers Fayre, a pub chain voted "Parent Friendly Family Pub of the Year" for the past two years. All its pubs are purpose-designed for families, but so far nine of its applications have been rejected and it has withdrawn seven others.
Children, like pets, are close to the hearts of the British people. So having introduced legislation enabling the toddler, the labrador, the granny and the bangers and mash to gather under one roof, what is the Government doing to make it easier to get a Children's Certificate?
"We spoke to the Home Office recently," says Mike Bennett of Camra, the Campaign for Real Ale. "They seem to have no intention of intervening in the near future."
So it looks as though families in most of England and Wales will be left out in the cold for some time to come.
The top ten guide to family-friendly public houses
Family pub of the year 1995: Coombe Cellars, Coombeteinhead, Devon: 01626 872423.
Barbridge Inn, Barbridge, Cheshire: 01270 528443.
Ferry Inn, Reedham, Norfolk: 01493 700429.
Fleur-de-Lys, Lowsonford, Warwickshire: 01564 782431.
Grapes Hotel, Maentwrog, Gwynedd, Wales: 01766 590365.
Jervis Arms, Onecote, Staffordshire: 01538 304206.
Otter, Weston, Devon: 01404 42594.
Notley Arms, Monksilver, Somerset: 01984 656217.
Smugglers, Osmington Mills, Dorset: 01305 833125.
Wight Mouse, Chale, Isle of Wight: 01983 730431.
Oscar Pistorius trial: Defence's own witness contradicts athlete's version of events
Oscar Pistorius trial: The case against Oscar Pistorius – and why the prosecution claims his story doesn't add up
Almost 40m gallons of drinking water discarded – because a man urinated in it
Peaches Geldof funeral: Private ceremony to be held at same place as her mother Paula Yates on Easter Monday
Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Are you turning into your dad? The top ten signs you've embraced dad-ism revealed as survey says 38 is age men turn into their father
- 2 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 3 Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
iJobs Money & Business
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£221.25 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a well established Inter...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Client Relationship Manager - SQL...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Take your chance to join the...