Saturday, 6 September 2008

Grimy BNP-link hotel 'a hazard to humans'

THE Blackpool hotel used by the far right British National Party for its annual conferences was branded a hazard to humans by health chiefs.
Officers investigated after guests complained about diarrhoea and vomiting while staying at The New Kimberley Hotel, Blackpool.

They were also told of guests being given uncooked food and meat which smelt bad.

Officials found the kitchen of the 50-bedroom hotel on South Promenade was filthy and discovered food which was out-of-date and in danger of cross-contamination from bacteria.

Peter Metcalf, 45, of Wyredale Road, St Annes, the hotel's former-leaseholder, admitted nine offences of breaching food hygiene safety rules and was found guilty of 11 similar offences after a trial.

He was fined £1,000 with £500 costs and ordered to pay the £15 victims' surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Victoria Cartmell, prosecuting for Blackpool Council, said there were complaints in 2006 about the hotel.

Health officers first visited the hotel in July 2006 and Metcalf was given numerous chances to clean the kitchen. Officers again visited on August 14 last year and found the kitchen was filthy.

Ceilings, walls, sockets, surfaces, pipes, floors, a cooker, fryer and freezer were greasy and dirty and food debris was scattered around.

Black mould was on chopping boards, freezer seals and an ice-making machine. A wash basin was dirty and there were no paper towels.

Ms Cartmell said: "Double cream in the fridge was past its use-by date. Containers of ice-cream were stored next to boxes of raw bacon which could have caused cross-contamination of bacteria."

Mitch Sarangi, defending, said at the time Metcalf's mother-in-law had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. He and his wife travelled to and from Scotland to visit her before she was transferred to a hospice and died.

Metcalf had now been declared bankrupt and he no longer held the hotel's lease.

The hotel hit the headlines in November 2006 and 2007 when it twice held the BNP's annual conference.

Tim Coglan, head of trading standards at Blackpool Council, said: "The conditions were disgusting and totally unacceptable. We know the majority of premises in the town are well run but we will continue to crackdown on those that aren't. Blackpool has the most robust enforcement regime in the country."

The hotel is now under new management.

Blackpool Gazette
Published Date: 05 September 2008