2 June 2011
Two bed and breakfast owners have been fined for obstructing fire safety inspectors trying to inspect their property to ensure it was safe.
Mr Richard Williams-Allen, 70 and Mrs Lesley Williams-Allen, 64, of The Laurels Bed and Breakfast, Inchbrook, Nailsworth, both pleaded guilty to obstructing the premises as well as failing to provide information about the property.
Both appeared at Cheltenham Magistrates Court last week, where Mr Williams-Allen was fined £350 and ordered to pay costs of £1,650. Mrs Williams-Allen was fined £250 and ordered to pay further costs of £1,650. They were also ordered to each pay a £15 victim surcharge.
In April 2010, the couple refused a fire safety inspector access to The Laurels to carry out a fire safety inspection. Over a six-month period, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service “made reasonable and repeated attempts” to arrange a visit but on each occasion, the owners refused to co-operate, the court heard.
Tally Giampa, head of fire safety enforcement and risk at the fire service said: “It is very unusual for us to be forced into this course of action as the vast majority of owners of commercial premises understand how important it is that their properties are inspected to ensure they comply with fire safety laws.
“Our priority is always to ensure that people are kept as safe as possible and our fire safety inspection focus on premises where there is the greatest risk of fire. These include bed and breakfast and hotels, where guests are likely to be unfamiliar with the layout of the building and range in age and mobility. Our inspectors’ advice and guidance save lives and it’s vital they are allowed to do their job.”