A pilot scheme to improve standards in the UK's hotels, guest houses and B&Bs has been hailed a success in a report by the Local Government Association.
The Fitness for Purpose Scheme was trialled by local authorities in Blackpool, Bournemouth, Camden, Canterbury, Greenwich and West Sussex between April 2003 and January 2004.
Tourism minister Richard Caborn now wants to expand it to other local authorities by the end of the year.
Under the scheme, local authority officers covering environmental health, fire safety, trading standards and tourism collaborated to ensure accommodation providers met minimum legal and safety standards.
The scheme allows more self-assessment for well-run companies who meet basic requirements. Firms are given check lists to measure themselves against and help in drawing up improvement plans.
The report said businesses had shown a high level of satisfaction with the scheme, "with initial caution evolving into support".
But it added that more work needed to be done with the Food Standards Agency and Health and Safety Executive on how they could best tackle industry problems.
The report, and details of the initiative, can be found on the Local Government Assocation website at www.lga.gov.uk
by Angela Frewin
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