Neighbours to act on bad behaviour

Hoteliers pictured on Charnley Road, Blackpool
Hoteliers pictured on Charnley Road, Blackpool
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FED up hoteliers have formed a new campaign group to tackle anti-social behaviour which they claim is blighting their neighbourhood.

The Central Holiday Area Pressure Group says too much failing holiday accommodation is being allowed to convert to houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), which draw undesirable residents to the area.

Pat Francioni of the Alumhurst Hotel on Charnley Road, has joined forces with fellow hoteliers Gerard Walsh and Charlie Docherty to form the group.

They are holding a public meeting at 11am on August 24 at Stanley Road Working Men’s Club.

Mrs Francioni said: “People have had enough and although the council says it’s doing something, we don’t appear to be getting anywhere.

“We are fed up of anti-social behaviour on the streets. It is not just because we have businesses but we live here too and have as much right to a peaceful life as anyone else.

“This is supposed to be the prime holiday area in the whole country. Something has to be done about it.”

Among the possible courses of action which will be discussed at the meeting are options including hoteliers withholding their business rates or calling for by-laws to be introduced to prevent the spread of HMOs.

Mr Walsh, of the Tudor Rose Hotel on Coronation Street, said: “There are a number of properties that are blighting the area because of the anti-social behaviour of the people living there.

“It is not just hotels suffering, it is all local businesses. There are too many de-registered properties and absent landlords.

“Every road in the holiday zone has been blighted so we have decided to come together as one voice, and one collective, to try and do something about it.”

In a letter to fellow members of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, Mrs Francioni claims problems include “drug deals on the streets and in local properties” as well as drunken behaviour, fights and rubbish “dumped by tenants who don’t care about the mess they make or the rats they could bring to our doors.”

The group, representing streets including Charnley Road, Reads Avenue, Hull Road, Vance Road and Coronation Street, is hoping senior officers from the police, council and magistrates bench will attend the meeting.

Mrs Francioni said: “It is not just for the central areas, we want to hear from people from other areas of Blackpool as well where they are suffering the same problems.

“We’re expecting a lot of people to attend the meeting.”

Coun Sarah Riding said she and fellow Talbot ward councillor Mark Smith were aware of the problems.

She said: “We know this is a massive issue and the council is taking a multi-level approach to it.

“You can have a really beautiful guesthouse and then a property next door causing problems.

“There are also concerns about people living in really poor conditions and if we can tackle that then people will have more of a stake in the area.

“One of the things we are introducing is a selective licensing scheme which is due to be rolled out across the whole of Blackpool.”

The scheme means private landlords will have to comply with a strict set of rules before they can rent out their properties.

There are about 4,000 HMOs in Blackpool, many of which are poor quality and have developed from the gradual, usually unauthorised, conversion of former guest houses.