CONCERNS have been raised that Chester does not become another Dublin or Blackpool destination in view of the amount of new inexpensive hotel accommodation available in the city.
They were raised at a meeting of Cheshire West and Chester Council’s scrutiny committee by the joint chairman of the city’s Pubwatch scheme, Mr Frank Marnell, minutes presented to the full council show.
Mr Marnell asked if the council was making full use of its powers, such as licensing, to achieve a vision for Chester as a vibrant, cultural centre that would attract visitors and benefit the wider local economy.
He pointed to the number of low cost hotels which had recently been built and referred to the example of Dublin and Blackpool.
Council leader Cllr Mike Jones (Con, Broxton) confirmed the council was aware of its responsibility to promote Chester as a vibrant, cultural centre and agreed that licensing was an important aspect in making this happen.
He believed that if the council achieved this, other towns within the bowler would also benefit.
Cheshire West and Chester was trying to promote Chester city centre as a family orientated city and its aim was to relocate all its night clubs on the periphery of the city, Cllr Jones explained.
Private businesses were working with the council to achieve this aim and work was underway to deliver a family orientated Christmas programme for the city.
He confirmed the council’s medium term aim was to change the environment of Chester’s night time economy.
As part of this, extensive work had been taking place to improve the services that customers of private hire and hackney cabs experienced.
Taxi drivers were being encouraged to gain qualifications relevant to their work and the council’s hope was that all its taxi drivers should be qualified over the next few years.
Cllr Jones agreed with Mr Marnell’s concerns that Chester should not become another Dublin or Blackpool and said the government intended to review the 24 hour drinking licensing as it was not working.