Thursday, 18 July 2013

Jobs and services: the hospitality industry

The hotels, restaurants, cafes and pubs of Sidmouth are a vital part of the local economy.

According to the BHA:

The hospitality industry plays a critically important role in both the economic and social life of local communities throughout the United Kingdom.

The Sidmouth & District Hospitality Association 
Sidmouth & District Hospitality Association - Sidmouth
encompasses all areas of hospitality from the smallest guesthouse to largest Hotels, Self-catering cottages, camping and caravan sites. Members agree to maintain the highest standards and to promote good practice in their chosen field.
Sidmouth & District Hospitality Association | Facebook

In July 2012 saw the launch of this website selectsidmouth 
Sidmouth & District Hospitality Association | British Hospitality Association
Hotels and Restaurants in Sidmouth

There is also considerable cooperation with the local Chamber of Commerce and Town Council:

‘Sidmouth hotels and businesses should work together’

Collaboration was the order of the day as Sidmouth tourism leaders met with businesses and organisations on Monday.
Guests at the Sidmouth and District Hospitality Association’s annual general meeting heard that spreading the word about fashion shows, science festivals and jubilee celebrations in and around the town will boost the whole area. Representatives of the chamber of commerce, town council and the hospitality association agreed that cross-promotion of events would benefit everyone.
Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce chairman Steven Kendall-Torry said: “We need to work more closely together – there are so many events that nobody ever heard of.” He said the Tour of Britain would bring international interest that hotels and businesses alike should capitalise on. The businessman added that smaller events like Budleigh Salterton’s literary festival could also bring tourists to Sidmouth, and vice versa. “Tourists aren’t going to stay here all week – we should be encouraging them to go to other local towns,” he said.
Hospitality association president James Sharp agreed, saying: “We need to make the most of all these events on our doorstep.”
Town councillor John Dyson thanked the hotels and restaurants for supporting the Hopper Bus, which brings visitors to the town for free. The vehicle has gone from strength to strength and is now self-sufficient, carrying 13,500 people in 100 days last year. “I don’t think any other minibus in the country can boast that many passengers,” he said.
Town clerk Christopher Holland said he had welcomed a project to create a leaflet on the Jurassic Coast, because it meant the towns and villages worked together. “We’re normally friendly rivals, but we have a shared unique selling point,” he said. The brochure utilised Government funding to promote the World Heritage Site, and required cooperation between councils along the coast.
Victoria Hatfield, from the Heart of Devon tourism board, revealed that Sandy Park in Exeter has been long-listed to host some of the qualifying matches in the 2015 rugby world cup.

And according to the District Council's draft Local Plan:
Tourism and the visitor economy is an important contributor to vitality and vibrancy of the District’s coastal and market towns and of our rural communities. Planning policy in the period to 2026 will seek to maintain and enhance the District’s visitor appeal by: 
a) Supporting East Devon’s hospitality businesses as they respond to the challenges of a changing visitor market. 
b) Reinforcing the District’s image as a destination of high environmental quality with a strong focus on customer care. 
c) Working in partnership with East Devon’s tourism industry to promote the District as a year round destination. 

However, as reported in the last posting, again, there is the issue of low-pay. Next door in Dorset, with a similar profile to Devon, there are also concerns:

Campaigners calling for employers to pay workers in Dorset a ‘living wage’ have launched their campaign in Bridport.
Living Wage for Dorset describes Dorset – dominated by the agriculture, hospitality and service industries –  as one of the country’s low pay economies.
Neil Duncan-Jordan, spokesperson for LWD said: “Low pay is associated with poor job security and treatment, fuel poverty, expensive housing costs, lower educational attainment, reduced mental health, suppressed economic demand and debilitates the human spirit. These are all costs that society has to bear when things breakdown. But the Living Wage offers a win-win for employees, employers and tax payers. Employees get a higher income and see their living standards rise, employers get a workforce with improved morale, less absenteeism and increased productivity and the tax payer saves huge amounts of money because they are no longer subsidising low wage employers by having to top up people’s earnings with benefits and credits. This is an idea supported by all the main political parties, major employers like Barclays, as well as the Church of England.”

And again from the WMN, but focusing on the hospitality industry:

Fears low-paid workers in Devon and Cornwall are being exploited

Friday, July 12, 2013

Ministers are reviewing the growing use of contracts where employees are not guaranteed work – also called "nil hour" deals – amid fears low-paid workers are being exploited.
A House of Commons research paper, published this month, found the hotels and restaurants sector were the most likely to use zero-hours contracts – with 19% doing so in 2011, a sharp rise from 4% in 2004.
Zero-hours contracts also appear to be highly seasonal – with the number of such contracts higher in the autumn than in the spring – and around one-third of workers are aged under 25.
Stuart Roden, South West organiser for Unison union, said: "When unemployment is still pretty high, it can be the only option for some people – particularly with people on low pay. If you want to get a mortgage you have no real security. A lot of banks won't lend to you. We are fundamentally opposed to zero-hour contracts."


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