Lewes bed and breakfast brochure row

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A LEWES bed and breakfast group says it is surprised district council bosses have pledged support for the local tourism industry after refusing to display the group’s brochure for 13 years.

Angela Wigglesworth, from the Lewes Town and Country B&B Group, an independent group of nearly 50 B&Bs, penned a letter to the Express responding to the results of the 2010 Economic Impact Study of Tourism in which Lewes District Council said it is ‘committed to supporting the local tourism industry and the contribution it makes to local economy’.

Angela said she found it ‘hard to relate’ to the statement after claiming the council have refused to stock the group’s brochure in the Lewes Tourist Office.

She said: “After 13 years, they are still refusing to display the brochure. Happily, many shops, restaurants, pubs and galleries in and around the town, come to visitors’ rescue by displaying the 20,000 brochures we publish annually.

“As the district council knows, all our B&Bs and self catering places are inspected annually by Eastbourne’s Hotel and B&B inspector but despite efforts by Norman Baker and many others to get the decision reversed, the council still doesn’t feel able to offer our excellent facilities to visitors.”

A council spokeswoman said: “In order to maximise the district’s exposure nationally from Visit England, Tourism South East for Lewes District as a visitor destination we need to operate an “assessed only’ policy which until recently was National Quality Assessment Scheme (NQAS). The council has recently agreed to promote an entry level Local Accommodation Assessment scheme for Lewes District. We will be launching this scheme soon and look forward to working with a wide range of accommodation businesses including Lewes B&B group.”