Health inspectors turn up at 2700-guest Southport Pontins unannounced

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Five star hygiene ratings for Britannia venues – but what does the council make of the Southport Pontins venue?

 

(Image: Andrew Teebay/Liverpool Echo)

A short stroll from one of Merseyside’s best beaches, sits a holiday park billed as “a great resort with something for the whole family”.

Pontins on Shore Road in Ainsdale sits in the perfect location for a great trip.

Just a short distance from Southport, and a train journey from Liverpool, it’s situated amid many days out, and things to do.

Unfortunately, though, the holiday park is often the subject of bad reviews, resulting in it having just a two-star rating on Tripadvisor.

Guests frequently complain about unclean accommodation, with one dad recently saying he found powder he suspected to be drugs on a sofa bed his daughter was to sleep on.

Pontins is owned by Britannia, who own a number of hotels in Blackpool and across the wider UK.

As with Pontins, the hotels in Blackpool, which includes Norbreck Castle, are regularly criticised by guests, compared to Fawlty Towers and viewed as harming the reputation of the resort.

So how clean is Pontins Southport – and how often is it inspected?

The park actually has the highest food hygiene rating possible.

Its five star (very good) rating is the result of an environmental health inspection on August 13, 2019. This is also true of Norbreck Castle in Blackpool, which was inspected on January 14, 2019 and got the same rating.

Sefton Council says it receives complaints about the park “from time to time”.

A council spokesperson told the ECHO : “Our environmental health teams carry out regular scheduled and unannounced inspections relating to the areas which fall within the jurisdiction of the authority.”

Its most recent of these was last month.

The spokesperson continued: “The site was well occupied, with over 2700 guests being accommodated, and no breaches of health and safety legislation, or food legislation, were found, and no food safety issues were identified.

“Appropriate covid secure measures were in place with an up to date risk assessment available.

“Officers observed evidence of numerous hand sanitiser stations, signage, increased frequency of cleaning, reduced capacity within the bar areas and improved ventilation.

“However, the standard of accommodation is not something over which the authority has any jurisdiction.”

Pontins owner Britannia was approached for comment by the Echo but had not responded by the time of publication.